Contrary to popular belief, understanding the bail bond process is quite simple. Of course there is going to be a fair share of legal print, but overall, it is very understandable. We will go over the basics right now for you.
Question: What is a bail bond for?
Answer: A bail bond is a written promise that the defendant will pay a fixed amount of money for his or her release from jail. The fixed amount in San Francisco will be 10% of the full bail amount.
Question: Does the 10% need to be paid up front before the defendant can be released?
Answer: No. The bail bond company will calculate a workable payment plan; the defendant will be released from jail and following that, payments on the bail bond will continue to be made.
Question: What are the conditions of a bail bond?
Answer: The defendant is required to show up for all court dates. If the court has additional mandates, like attending counseling, staying away from someone or someplace, and not leaving the state, for example, the defendant will need to abide by those as well.
Question: What if the defendant does not obey those rules?
Answer: The bail bond will be revoked and the defendant will be taken back into custody. In addition, the full bail amount may need to be paid off.
Question: Is the money refundable at the end of the trial if my loved one obeyed all of his or her orders?
Answer: No, think of the fixed price for the bail bond as a fee for the bail bonds services. However, most people use bail bonds to bail out of jail because in the long-term view, it is more affordable for them.
There is nothing wrong with using bail bonds compared to cash bail, and you should never be ashamed to talk to a bail agent.