What is bail?
In short, Bail is that part of our legal system that allows an accused person to be temporarily released from custody so they can continue their lives while they prepare for their day in court. In criminal cases, it is a sum of money, real property or surety bond that needs to be posted by or on behalf of a defendant to guarantee their appearance in court. The right to reasonable Bail is guaranteed to you in the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
What is a bail bond?
A bail bond is a financial guarantee made by or on behalf of a criminal defendant that is used to guarantee their appearance in court through the end of their trial upon release from custody. Failure by the defendant to appear will result in a bond forfeiture.
How does a bail bond work?
The court system will set the amount of bail required for the defendant's release. Under state law, a surety company can provide a type of insurance policy or "bond" that guarantees payment of the full bail amount to the court if the defendant does not show up for all scheduled appearances. These bonds are offered by licensed bail bond agencies. For supplying these bonds, bail agencies charge a premium - a percentage of the total bond amount, typically 10%. The bail agency must charge the premium rate it has filed with the Department of Financial Services, and the premium is not refundable once the defendant is released.
What is the difference between bond amount and bond premium?
The bond amount is the full amount of the bail that was set by the court. The premium is the dollar amount owed to the bail agency for posting the bond. The premium on all Florida Bail Bonds is 10%or $100.00, whichever is greater. No bail bond agency can charge you any more or any less.
For example, if the bond was $353.00, the premium would be $100.00. If the bond was $5,000.00, the premium would be $500.00.
On larger bonds, payment plans are available, if qualified. To see if you qualify for our payment plan, call our office and speak with one of our bail bondsman to further discuss you options.
Who is an indemnitor?
An indemnitor is the person(s) willing to be responsible for the defendant while they are out on bail and assumes financial liability to guarantee the full bond amount.
Is collateral needed?
No. In most cases, collateral is not needed. Some paperwork and the premium fee is all that is required. Since each case is unique, we ask that you call our office and speak with a licensed bondsman to further discuss whether collateral is needed for your bail bond.
How long does the bail bond process take?
We can have you approved in minutes. The entire bail bond process can be done over the phone. Once the bail bond is posted, the release time can be from 1-4 hours depending on which county the defendant is in.
What is forfeiture?
Forfeiture occurs when the defendant does not appear in court when summoned. We will work with you towards providing a solution if your defendant does not appear. Forfeiture does not completely destroy any chance of a solution being found, but it can severely hinder the process so it is important to do your best to ensure that the defendant appears in court.
How long does a bond last?
Until the court case is over and every charge has been discharged.
What is exoneration?
Exoneration occurs when you are fully released of responsibility for the defendant, following the full proceedings of the court, and after the release of the accused.