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Most defendants that have been issued a bail at their arraignment hearing make their bail in one of three ways – through a bail bond, a full payment, or a property bond.
Make Bail with a Bail Bond
By far the top method defendants use to make bail is through a bail bond which is issued through a licensed bond agent or company. For this type of bail, the defendant will usually need to pay 10 percent of the total bail as a fee for the bail bond service – and the defendant will need to provide sources of collateral that will cover the total bail if he or she flees. The defendant may also be charged for added costs associated with obtaining their bond, including court costs, phone calls, and travel expenses.
Collateral sources that can be used to cover a bail bond include contract financial obligations that family or friends commit to through resources such as owned property, retirement or savings accounts, and personal stock funds.
Make Bail with a Total Bail Payment
If a defendant has enough money, they can choose to make bail by paying the total bail fee. Defendants usually select this option if they have been charged with a minor offense and they have been issued a low bail amount; once the defendant appears for their court hearing the entire bail is returned to them. Paying the entire bail payment will save the defendant the bond fee (usually set at 10 percent) and additional costs a bail bond service will charge.
Make Bail with a Property Bond
If a defendant owns property, it is possible to make bail with a property bond. However, this type of bond can be a little trickier to obtain than the first two. In most cases, an attorney is needed to file all of the necessary legal contracts required before the bond may be issued – and the defendant’s property must be valued at a price that is at least 150 percent of the total bail fee. Unlike a bail bond and a total bail payment, a property bond cannot be obtained immediately; in most cases, it takes three weeks or more to complete and file the necessary paperwork needed before the bond is approved.
*The information in this article does not constitute legal advice. Please contact a legal professional in your local area for the best up-to-date and accurate legal advice.