Q.What is a Bond?

Sometimes the release of an accused person awaiting trial will require a sum of money be lodged to guarantee their appearance in court. This requirement and the amount set are called a bond order and are determined by a Judge. There are two types of bonds - secured and unsecured. A secured bond means that you actually pay money or put up property to secure your release. An unsecured bond or surety bond means you sign a document that says you will pay a certain amount of money if the defendant breaks his/her bond conditions.

Q.What is Bail?

Bail is the cash payment paid by the defendant himself or by someone on his behalf. It is the money that is put up as security, to assure that the defendant will appear for trial. A defendant can put up cash, which is not practical when the amount is large, or can go to a bondsman and obtain a bond. A bond is the bondsman’s pledge to make good on the bail if the defendant does not appear before the court.

Q.What is the difference between Bail and Bond?

Bail is the full cash payment of the bond order paid by the defendant to the court. Bail money will be returned at the end of the trial, if all the court requirements are fulfilled. A Bond is the bondsman’s pledge to make good on the bail if the defendant fails to appear in court. A Bond requires a third party to agree to be responsible for the debt and obligation of the defendant. Money paid as a fee for bond services will not be returned. For example, if the bond order is set for $5,000.00 a defendant can pay the court $5,000.00 cash (bail) to be release or pay a small percentage of that to a bondsman to obtain a bond and be released.

Q.How much does Bail Bond cost?

Rules and Regulations vary from county to county for the Bail Bonds Industry in the State of Texas. Bond agents generally charge a fee of 10% for a state charge and 15% for a federal bail bond, with a minimum of $100 in some states like Florida, required in order to post a bond for the full amount of the bond. This fee is not refundable and represents the bond agent's compensation for their services.

Q.How long does it take to bail someone out?

We can process express bonds in as little as 15 minutes. However, it can take up to 16 hours or more to be released from certain jurisdictions. On average, it takes 8 hours being booked into the system and 8 hours being booked out.

Q.How do I find out if and where a person is detained, or if a bail amount has been set?

We can obtain that information for you quickly, or you can contact the courthouse of the county in which the inmate is housed. Once connected with the local courthouse, expect the clerk to ask several questions about the inmate. The clerk needs to know the legal name, birth name, legal address, birth date, case number, and inmate number; without this information, the clerk may not be able to supply the bail amount.

Q.Do I need an attorney to post a bond?

No, you can post the full cash bail amount or arrange for a bond through a licensed bondsmen without an attorney.

Q.Do I have to put up collateral?

Bail collateral is offered in place of or in addition to bail money in order to secure the release of the person who has been arrested. Consider it a form of credit or a loan to ensure that the person shows up in court. Collateral can come in many forms; it can be your house, jewelry or other assets of a certain given value.