The Bail Process
What to Expect
During the Bail Process
Next Step after Bonding Out
The person that bonded out will need to come to our office and fill out some paperwork (as required by law). It’s pretty easy; we just need some personal information and 5 references.
All bail companies, including Bail Bonds by Renell, require that you check in with our office once a week. Simply give your name, any personal information that has changed, and your next court date.
To check in, call us at (936) 539-2245, so you can leave a voice mail or talk to us directly. You can also check in via email or by submitting our contact form. When you check in, please include your name, court date, and any changes to your personal information, i.e., employment, address, phone, etc. Having gotten the important stuff out of the way, and having made your call to us, you can now take the time to read the next few pages which will explain how this all works in more detail.
So when you want more information just click on the link: “THE BAIL PROCESS” But first, let’s get that bond posted so we can get your friend or loved one out NOW! We both lose money if you do not make that phone call now! (936) 539-2245
How the Bail System works
Arrest and Booking
When someone is arrested, they are taken to the jail for booking. This process will consist of fingerprinting, photographs (“mug shots”), a background check and nationwide warrant search.
The defendant will be searched for any weapons or contraband, and personal belongings such as jackets, wallets, purses and cell phones will be collected and held until their release from the jail. This process generally takes from 4 to 8 hours to complete, but could be significantly longer depending on how busy jail staff is with processing other arrestees.
The defendant’s bail amount will be set after the booking process has been completed and we can then post the bail bond. The person in jail will have access to a phone to make calls to a friend or family member, lawyer, or bail bondsman, however, from the local County jail they can only call out collect. They cannot call a cell phone but only to a land line that accepts collect calls. Through the county we are able to accept collect calls from inmates (our number is listed by the jail phone) and most of the time we are able to conference your friend or loved one with you to arrange for their bail.
There is a system set up through the jail phones whereby you put in a credit card number on your end and you are supposed to be able to accept a call from the jail. Frankly, this system never seems to work, except that it charges your credit card and you do not get that money back even if your people cannot get through to you. We do not recommend this system for that reason.
In most cases, local bail is set by the use of a county bail schedule. Judges will take into consideration any criminal history–a repeat offender will likely be given a higher bail amount than someone who has no criminal record. If the defendant has been arrested on a warrant they may already have a bail amount set.
The seriousness of the charge is another factor when a judge sets the bail amount. The more serious the defendant’s charges, the higher their bail amount. A judge will also determine if the individual is considered a “flight risk,” meaning that they may not appear for court. Bail amounts could be set higher for anyone the judge thinks might not go to court.
Judges often set higher bail amounts to make sure the defendant comes back to face the charges against them. This amount could be in the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most people don’t have the means to pay such a large amount of money. In some cases, it might be necessary for a person to post some type of collateral in order to secure the release of their loved one.
In some cases, you may be able to pay the full bail amount yourself, and that has to be paid by cashier’s check directly to the jail. If the defendant makes it to all court appearances, some of this money will be returned to you once the case has been concluded. However, it could be months or even years before you see your money again and they will still charge you a portion of the bail amount for that service, as much as 5 or more percent in some counties.
Most people choice is to work with a bail bondsman. This could be the most affordable solution for you. The cost of a bail bond can be as low as 10% for the larger bonds however, smaller bonds will be a higher percentage. For example, if the defendant’s bail is $20,000, then you can expect to pay a bondsman $2,000 to bail out your friend or family member–provided the defendant is local, has a good co-signer, and does not have a lengthy criminal history. This is a fee and is not returned. The good news is that if you are short on money (who isn’t these days?!) we can often work out affordable payment plans to help out.
All bondsmen require a co-signer or what is often referred to as an indemnitor. That is usually a parent, relative or a responsible friend.
When you agree to sign a bail bond contract with a bondsman, you will become the “indemnitor.” This means that you agree to be financially responsible for the contract. You must make certain that the defendant makes it to all scheduled court appearances.
If the defendant “fails to appear,” your bondsman can help you get them back on track. Simple mistakes, such as oversleeping or car trouble, can generally be addressed with a couple of simple phone calls.
If the defendant flees, or “jumps bail,” you will be responsible for helping the bondsman track down the defendant and get them back into the court system but if they cannot be found the co-signer could be responsible for the total bond amount plus court costs, attorney fees, etc.
It’s a stressful time when someone you care about is in jail. You want to make sure that they are released as quickly and safely as possible. Before you decide to take on the responsibility of bailing them out, you need to be certain that the defendant is going to do what needs to be done and face their charges in court.
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