Bail Bonding Company FAQ
Liberty Bail Bonds of St. Paul, Minnesota
Any and every question you can think of regarding your bail, the professional and courteous staff at Liberty Bail Bonds is here to answer!
What happens when a person is arrested?
When an individual is arrested for a crime, usually that person will be taken to a local law enforcement station for booking. After the defendant has been booked, the court or arresting authority has several options for release that may include:
- Defendant is released with no charges filed,
- Bail is set by the jail or court, or
- Defendant promises to appear in court and is released on their own recognizance.
What is the purpose of a bail bond?
Bail bonds guarantee to the court that the defendant will make all appearances until the case is over. The bond does not cover conditions imposed by the court or fines, costs or child support payments.
What is the procedure for bailing somebody out of jail?
The defendant may call a bonding company directly from jail by using The Blue Book or other directory. More likely family and friends are the ones to make the first call seeking a bail bond.
The bail bond company will need basic information such as; the defendant’s name and background information, including any past record, amount of the bail, the jail location’s city, and possibly other basic information.
What is the cost of a bail bond?
The premium is generally 10% of the bail bond plus travel expenses for the bail bond agent. For example, if the bail bond is $5,000, the premium charged by the bail bond company is around $530. The premium could be a little higher percentage on a $900 bond or less. This premium amount is non-refundable.
Do I always need collateral for a bail bond?
No. Most bail bonds are written as signature bonds. We look at many factors such as the length of time at a job, length of time at current residence, credit rating, character, type of crime and past record to determine whether collateral is needed. These factors are considered for both the defendant and the bond co-signer.
If I use collateral for a bail bond, when do I get it back?
The collateral is held in a trust account and will be returned when the case has been completed and all obligations are satisfied.
Is a cosigner needed?
Generally, yes. Exceptions can be made when a defendant is a homeowner, works full time and has a relatively small bond.
The agent then evaluates the defendant and cosigner, and agrees to write the bond or asks for an additional cosigner or collateral. The agent and cosigner agree on a time to meet at the jail, applications are filled out, the premium collected and the bond is posted. The entire process is relatively quick and simple, and is usually completed in less than a half hour. For most bail bonds, it will be necessary to sign two simple documents.
If I bail somebody out, what is my responsibility?
When you bail somebody out, you take full responsibility that the defendant shows up in court. You guarantee the full amount of the bond if the defendant fails to appear in court. The bond cannot be forfeited if all required appearances are made. You are not criminally liable, but you are civilly liable in the event of a forfeiture.
What happens if a defendant is bailed out and fails to appear in court?
The bond is forfeited and has to be paid to the court within 90 days. We receive notice from the court, contact the defendant and cosigner, if possible, to explain what has to be done. If the defendant turns himself or is picked up, the bonding company can request the bond be reinstated.
If the defendant cannot be located or will not to turn himself in, we work with police, sheriffs and bounty hunters to return them to custody. When they are returned to custody, we can petition the court to reinstate the bond. The reinstatement is up to the judge, but the court will usually reinstate a significant portion of the bond.
Can my bonding company revoke my bond?
The bondsman has the authority to arrest and surrender the defendant at any time. Bail bond companies will exercise this power only if strong evidence exists that the defendant will not appear in court as ordered. A cosigner changing their mind is not considered enough evidence to revoke a bond. (See MN Statute 629.63)
Does a bounty hunter have rules?
A bounty hunter has some powers that police do not have, such as transporting across state lines and entering homes. We advise our agents to request assistance from the local police before doing a pickup. We do not condone the use of physical force or the use of or carrying of weapons.
What is a forfeiture?
A forfeiture means the defendant missed a court appearance and the bonding company has to pay the court the full amount of the bond within 90 days. The defendant and cosigner in turn owe the bonding company the full amount of the bond.
What is a reinstatement?
A reinstatement means the court forgives all or part of a bond forfeiture.
What is a discharge?
A discharge means the bonding company is released from all further obligation to the court.
What is a revocation?
A revocation means the bond is canceled and the defendant is remanded to custody.
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