If one of your friends or family just called you in a panic asking you to bail them out of jail, you may be wondering exactly how the process works. If you can not afford to put up the full bail amount, you may need to use a bail bonds service. These are some of the most frequently asked questions about bail bonds.
1. How Do I Get a Bail Bond?
There are four ways that a person can get out of jail once they have been arrested. If the person is charged with a minor crime and is considered low risk, the judge may decide to release the defendant on the defendant’s own recognizance. More commonly, the judge will set a bail amount and you can post the full amount with the court to get the person released. Alternatively, you can use real property in place of a cash bond. Finally, you can contact bail bonds West Chester PA and pay a fee to have a bail bondsman post bail for you.
2. Can I Get a Discount on the Fees or Premium?
State statutes regulate how much a bail bondsman can charge. Pennsylvania does not allow bail bonds services to offer any kind of discounts. A bail bonds service that disregards this rule may lose its license. Be wary of services that promise discounts. These services may claim to be giving you a discount when they are charging full price.
3. What Happens If the Defendant Is Arrested While Out of Jail?
If the defendant gets arrested again while out of jail, once that person is in custody, the bond may be surrendered and your liability will end. However, you will not get a refund on the premium you paid to the bail bonds service and if you post bond for the defendant again, you will have to pay an additional premium.
4. How Did the Bail Bonds System Get Started?
The bail bonds system has its roots in 13th century English common law. However, the system as it exists in the United States has changed over the years. Many of the changes to the system have been aimed at making bond amounts fairer when compared to the severity of the crime a person is charged with.
Having a friend or loved one get arrested can be stressful. Learning how the system works can help take some of the stress out of the situation.