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What are Bail Bonds?

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bail bondsThe success of a recent TV reality show has led to an increased interest in the world of bail bonds. This is a method by which an individual, who has been arrested for a crime, can be released from jail by providing a type of security. The fact that a security has been given reassures the court that the defendant will turn up when they are due to stand trial.

So What Are Bail Bonds?

You have probably seen this scene in movies and TV shows many times. Somebody is charged with a crime and they are dragged before a judge to make a plea. The scene ends with the judge setting bail for a certain amount. If the defendant can pay this money they are free to go home until the time of the trail; a preferable option to staying in jail. The amount of money that the defendant is asked to pay for bail will depend on a number of factors including the seriousness of the crime they are charged with and whether they are considered a flight risk.

The amount of money that may be set as bail can be way beyond what an individual or their family can afford. This is where the bail bond company comes in; they will be willing to put up the money if the defendant can manage to provide 10% of it. So long as the defendant turns up for all their court dates the bail bond company will get their money back from the court. Of course if the defendant fails to do this then the bail bond company could lose a lot of money. Therefore the bail bond company has a lot tied up in the willingness of the individual to meet their legal obligations.

As well as 10% of the bail money the defendant will usually be required to put up some other type of collateral. This could be something like property or other investments. This collateral is required to cover the risk associated with the bail bonding company putting up bail.

The Advantages of Bail Bonds

Bail bond companies do not offer money without an expectation of a return on their investment. This is a business just like any other business. The fees connected with a bail bond will usually be worth it though if the only other option is spending time in jail. In a lot of cases it can take months until the trial begins and during this time the defendant will be locked up. This is something that most of us will want to avoid at all costs and so the fees of a bail bonds company will probably seem reasonable.

The fact that the defendant is out of jail means that they can continue to support their family and prepare for the forthcoming trial. If they were stuck in jail their activities would be severely curtailed and so a bail bond can be a small price to pay for freedom. This also works out better for society as a whole because it reduces jail overcrowding and the money associated with this.

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Meet the Author

Anthony Carter currently resides in Fife, Scotland with his wife Lisa, and their three wonderful children. As a senior editor for various publications, if he's not reading and writing, you would find him photographing and traveling to some of the most far-flung locations around the world.

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