Bail bondsmen post bail for people suspected of and charged with crimes. Their services allow defendants to return home between booking and trial, which allows them to return to work and spend time on their legal cases outside jail. Bail bond companies are subject to state laws. Therefore, before searching for “bail bonds Pennsylvania,” you may want to know a little about these companies.
What They Do
When a person is charged for a crime, a judge will set a bail amount that must be paid to the courts before the defendant is released from jail. Defendants typically cannot afford to pay their own bail. These individuals may seek help from friends and family, but often they still cannot afford to pay the bail in full.
Bail bond companies charge a fee (typically around 10%) to sell surety bonds to suspects or their families. They may require collateral, such as property, vehicles or jewelry, to secure the bond in case the defendant does not show up to court.
The bail bondsman then contacts the court. The bond company pays part of the bail and guarantees the remaining bail.
If a defendant does not meet all the conditions set by the judge for release, the bondsman is legally allowed to search for the suspect and remand them over to the courts. If they cannot find these individuals, the company must pay the full bail. However, the bondsman is also legally allowed to seize any collateral that the client posted for the bond.
Bail bond companies make money on the fees they charge their clients. For example, their clients pay a percentage (typically around 10%) of the full bail set by the judge to the bond agent before guaranteeing the bond. This fee is never returned to the client. Agents may also sell any collateral that is forfeit by clients who do not show up to court.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime and you cannot afford to pay the full bail in cash, you may consider contacting a local bond company.