Frequently Asked Questions
What is bail?
Bail is every person's constitutional right. The 8th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States provides this right as a way of making sure the defendant is treated fairly and is offered a reasonable bail. It allows them to pay a set amount of bail in return for immediate release from jail. This allows them to return to work and lets them take care of their families.
How does a bail bond work?
The court in each county will determine a person's bail. Most counties have a pre-determined bail bond schedule to use so that the defendant does not have to wait to appear in front of a judge. Bail bond agencies can post bail for a defendant if they guarantee the defendant will appear at every court appearance. If not, the bail bond agency will be obligated to pay the entire bond amount. A licensed bail bonds agency can post bail for its clients. Brennan Bail Bonds are licensed and bonded and extremely capable of providing bail bonds services all over the state of Florida. In exchange for posting a bail, the bail bonds agency charges clients a premium. Premiums are normally 10% of the total bail bond amount. Bail bonds agencies would require a $3,000 premium on a $30,000, and so on. The client would also have to pay for any fees that may be charged by the court. According to state law, a bail bond agency is required to pay 10% of the total amount of the bail bond. All premiums are filed with the Department of Insurance. Premiums are non-refundable and not non-negotiable.
What is a bail bond?
When a person is arrested, they receive a bail amount that must be paid if they want to be released prior to their scheduled court date. The defendant or a co-signer can enter into a financial contract with a bail bond agent to pay a 10% premium to the court guaranteeing they will appear at all court hearings and comply with court requirements. If they fail to do so, they may end up losing the entire amount of the bail bond to forfeiture.
What is the difference between bail bond amount and premium?
The bail bond premium is state mandated at 10% of the total bond amount. The state minimum for a premium is $100. If a person's bail were set at $100,000, their bail bond premium would be $10,000. The total bail amount can range from a few thousand to millions of dollars depending on the severity of the crime that was committed. Bail bonds premiums are non-negotiable and non-refundable.
Who is a co-signer/guarantor?
Guarantor or co-signer is the same person. They are willing to be financially responsible for the defendant if the court releases them on bail. As the co-signer, the person agrees to be financially obligated to pay the entire bail bond amount if the defendant fails to appear in court or comply with the court's requirements while out on release.
What does it mean when a bail bond is exonerated?
For a person’s bail to be exonerated, they must have fulfilled all of their requirements to the court. It does not matter if they were found guilty or innocent. As long as they complied with the wishes of the court and attended all of their scheduled court dates, the case is closed and the bail is exonerated or released back to the co-signer, minus and fees and court charges.
When does a forfeiture take place?
If a person does not appear at their court appearance or goes against the wishes of the court, their bond may be forfeited or revoked. If this happens a bench warrant is then issued and they become a fugitive. The court will give a bail bonds agent a specific amount of time to produce the defendant before the bond has been irretrievably forfeited. In cases, where the defendant's absence from court was beyond their control, the court may offer to reinstate their bail and allow the bail bonds agency to bail them out a second time. As with the first arrest, a new trial date will be set at which they are required to appear.
What is a reinstatement?
The reinstatement process is started when a defendant is returned to the jail on a bench warrant. If the reason for their absence from court can be explained, the bench warrant may be lifted and the person's bail bond reinstated. Brennan Bail Bonds can work with the defendant and make sure they remain in contact with the court. The court will set a new court date and the process starts all over. This may, however, result in higher finds and fees the defendant may eventually owe to the court system.
What is considered by the court in fixing the amount of bail?
The judge is the only one who can set bail and the amount is up to their sole discretion. In most cases, there are two limitations. They are:
- While bail is not intended to be a punishment, it is, however, set at an amount which will ensure the defendant appears at all of their scheduled court hearings. The 8th Amendment of the Constitution prevents a judge from setting a bail amount at an amount that is not indicative of the crime. When determining the amount of bail, one of the first things a judge considers is the severity of the crime. The prior criminal history of the defendant and whether or not the defendant is a flight risk will also help the judge to find an appropriate bail amount.
- The judge may also consider whether or not the defendant is a danger to themselves or the public at large. If it is believed that the defendant may hurt themselves or others, including witnesses or victims, they may raise the amount of bail or deny it altogether. The defendant's ties to the community are also taken into consideration. If the judge decides to set a higher than normal bond amount, they must state in the record the reasoning behind the decision. When setting bail, the judge must use the minimum amount as a guide. The goal is to make sure the defendant appears at all of his court appearances.
How much does it cost to bail someone out of jail?
No two cases are the same. To find out how much it will cost to bail out a specific defendant, come in and talk to one of the licensed and bonded agents at Brennan Bail Bonds. You can also call us at 888-354-9011. We can help you figure things out.
Is the premium refundable?
No, the premium is non-refundable and non-negotiable. Once the defendant's case is over, their bail will be exonerated or released back to the co-signer minus all court fees, costs and additional expenses that may have been incurred by the bail bond agency. The defendant will owe for certain court fees whether they are guilty or innocent.