© 2015
How long will it take? The length of time that is required for the booking process varies and depends on how busy the respective jail is at the time the person is being booked. Please be advised that the Bail Agent does not and cannot control this holding period. In addition to how busy the booking officers are, it’s very important for the person being arrested to be extremely cooperative, polite and courteous during the booking process, even though the person being arrested and charged may not be happy about being arrested and may know with certainty that they are not guilty in any way of what they are being charged with.   What is a Bail Bond? A bond, also referred to as an appearance bond is in essence a contract between the State of Florida, the Bail Bond Agent (bondsman) and the Principal (defendant). The appearance bond is a written contract wherein the Bail Agent pledges the financial assets of the company for the penal sum or total amount of the bond(s) that are executed on the Defendant’s behalf. The appearance bond is what guarantees that the Defendant will appear at all court appearances until such time that their case is properly disposed by the court. How much will it cost? Bail Premium or sometimes called a Bond Fee, is how much it will cost for the Bail Agent to post the bond(s) for the Defendant. These fees are set and regulated by the State of Florida and NOT the individual Bail Agent or the Agent’s company. These fees are simple to calculate: Any bond amount from $1.00 up to $1,000.00 is a flat fee of $100. Any bond amount from $1,001.00 and above, regardless of the total amount, is 10% of the total bond amount. The only exception to this is if the agents post a Federal Bond. Bond fees for all Federal Bonds are 15% of the total bond amount. Each charge requires a separate bond and will each carry a separate fee. Responsibilities of bond agent: The Bail Agent is responsible for the Defendant as long as they have pending court dates. It’s important to note that should the Defendant fail to appear in court, the Bail Agent has to either arrest and surrender the Defendant to the appropriate authority or MUST pay the total amount of the bond(s) for which the agent posted on the Defendant’s behalf. Once the case has been disposed of or discharged by the court by either being found not guilty or having the charges dropped by the State of Florida or the defendant has been sentenced by the court, the bond becomes discharged or cancelled at that time. The Bail Agent IS NOT responsible for any sentence, programs, fines or costs that are imposed by the court as a result of the Defendant pleading out to the charges or having been found guilty of the charges. A Bail Agent cannot arrest you and put you back in jail without good cause. Reasons that will justify the Agent’s arrest of the Defendant are: if any false or misleading information is provided by the Defendant during the posting of their bond(s); if the Defendant leaves the jurisdiction of the court without permission or consent; if the Defendant moves from one residential address to another without notifying the Bail Agent PRIOR to the move; if the Defendant is re­arrested for any new criminal offense other than a minor traffic offense while the original bond is active and lastly, IF the Defendant during any course of time while the Defendant is on bond with the agent does anything or commits any act that reasonably and verifiably leads the Bail Agent to believe that the Defendant will cause a forfeiture of the bond, breach of the bond or violation of the original bond conditions. What happens if I miss court? A judge can and should forfeit or estreat the bond when the Defendant fails to appear in court. Once the bond is forfeited, as referenced above, this is an order of the respective court which directs the Bail Agent to either apprehend and surrender the Defendant to the jurisdiction of the court or for the Bail Agent to pay the penal (total) sum of the bond that have been posted on the Defendant’s behalf. It’s very important to note that strict timelines govern the length of time from the date the judge forfeited or estreated the bond until the day the agent must return the Defendant to custody or pay the forfeiture. What is collateral? Collateral on a bond is simply what is accepted by a Bail Agent to guarantee that the Bail Agent is held harmless or does not suffer a financial loss as a result of the Defendant’s bond(s) being forfeited. Collateral is obtained or received by the Bail Agent in several forms. The most common and accepted form of collateral is an “Indemnity Agreement”, a “Promissory Note” or both. These two forms are basically a person or persons signature on designated forms that is used to hold the Indemnitor (Co­Signer) on the bond financially responsible for the undertaking of the bond(s) on the Defendant’s behalf. Copies of these forms are available on our site. Other accepted forms of collateral that are accepted are: Mortgage Agreement(s), cash, money orders or credit cards. It should be understood that if a client selects to use a credit card to post the collateral, the current credit card fee that is imposed by the financial institution for the monetary transaction, can and should be charged to the depositor in addition to the total amount of collateral accepted. The credit card fee is NOT refundable. However, if a client uses a credit card to pay the “bail premium" or “bond fee” on the bond(s), these credit card fees must be absorbed by the Bail Agent and cannot be passed along to the client. *Depending on the level of risk of the bond(s) for the Defendant, we may require that a mortgage agreement be executed to secure the Defendant’s release, or cash collateral may be requested to be held until such time the Defendant’s bonds are discharged or terminated. It’s important to understand that if cash collateral is accepted, the cash SHALL be deposited into an escrow account and kept totally and completely separate from the Bail Agents personal or operating funds. These collateral funds SHALL be returned in full to the depositor upon completion of the Defendant’s case(s). The only exception to the collateral being returned to the depositor is in the event the Defendant fails to appear and their bond(s) are forfeited. At this point, the collateral being held in trust can be converted and used to pay the forfeiture(s) to the respective court. What happens when a person is arrested? When a person is arrested they are typically entitled to a bond. Usually a bond is set in accordance with a local bond schedule, although bonds can be higher or lower than the amounts stated on the schedule. There are some cases, such as a capital case or domestic the defendant may not be entitled to a bond. In Florida, a defendant is entitled to appear in front of a judge within 24 hours of his or her arrest. This is called a First Appearance. The primary purpose of this appearance is for the Judge to determine whether there is enough information in the arrest affidavit as to establish probable cause against the defendant. The Judge at this time has the right to keep, lower or raise the bond set at the time of the defendant's booking.
Serving All of Florida
© 2015
How long will it take? The length of time that is required for the booking process varies and depends on how busy the respective jail is at the time the person is being booked. Please be advised that the Bail Agent does not and cannot control this holding period. In addition to how busy the booking officers are, it’s very important for the person being arrested to be extremely cooperative, polite and courteous during the booking process, even though the person being arrested and charged may not be happy about being arrested and may know with certainty that they are not guilty in any way of what they are being charged with.   What is a Bail Bond? A bond, also referred to as an appearance bond is in essence a contract between the State of Florida, the Bail Bond Agent (bondsman) and the Principal (defendant). The appearance bond is a written contract wherein the Bail Agent pledges the financial assets of the company for the penal sum or total amount of the bond(s) that are executed on the Defendant’s behalf. The appearance bond is what guarantees that the Defendant will appear at all court appearances until such time that their case is properly disposed by the court. How much will it cost? Bail Premium or sometimes called a Bond Fee, is how much it will cost for the Bail Agent to post the bond(s) for the Defendant. These fees are set and regulated by the State of Florida and NOT the individual Bail Agent or the Agent’s company. These fees are simple to calculate: Any bond amount from $1.00 up to $1,000.00 is a flat fee of $100. Any bond amount from $1,001.00 and above, regardless of the total amount, is 10% of the total bond amount. The only exception to this is if the agents post a Federal Bond. Bond fees for all Federal Bonds are 15% of the total bond amount. Each charge requires a separate bond and will each carry a separate fee. Responsibilities of bond agent: The Bail Agent is responsible for the Defendant as long as they have pending court dates. It’s important to note that should the Defendant fail to appear in court, the Bail Agent has to either arrest and surrender the Defendant to the appropriate authority or MUST pay the total amount of the bond(s) for which the agent posted on the Defendant’s behalf. Once the case has been disposed of or discharged by the court by either being found not guilty or having the charges dropped by the State of Florida or the defendant has been sentenced by the court, the bond becomes discharged or cancelled at that time. The Bail Agent IS NOT responsible for any sentence, programs, fines or costs that are imposed by the court as a result of the Defendant pleading out to the charges or having been found guilty of the charges. A Bail Agent cannot arrest you and put you back in jail without good cause. Reasons that will justify the Agent’s arrest of the Defendant are: if any false or misleading information is provided by the Defendant during the posting of their bond(s); if the Defendant leaves the jurisdiction of the court without permission or consent; if the Defendant moves from one residential address to another without notifying the Bail Agent PRIOR to the move; if the Defendant is re­arrested for any new criminal offense other than a minor traffic offense while the original bond is active and lastly, IF the Defendant during any course of time while the Defendant is on bond with the agent does anything or commits any act that reasonably and verifiably leads the Bail Agent to believe that the Defendant will cause a forfeiture of the bond, breach of the bond or violation of the original bond conditions. What happens if I miss court? A judge can and should forfeit or estreat the bond when the Defendant fails to appear in court. Once the bond is forfeited, as referenced above, this is an order of the respective court which directs the Bail Agent to either apprehend and surrender the Defendant to the jurisdiction of the court or for the Bail Agent to pay the penal (total) sum of the bond that have been posted on the Defendant’s behalf. It’s very important to note that strict timelines govern the length of time from the date the judge forfeited or estreated the bond until the day the agent must return the Defendant to custody or pay the forfeiture. What is collateral? Collateral on a bond is simply what is accepted by a Bail Agent to guarantee that the Bail Agent is held harmless or does not suffer a financial loss as a result of the Defendant’s bond(s) being forfeited. Collateral is obtained or received by the Bail Agent in several forms. The most common and accepted form of collateral is an “Indemnity Agreement”, a “Promissory Note” or both. These two forms are basically a person or persons signature on designated forms that is used to hold the Indemnitor (Co­Signer) on the bond financially responsible for the undertaking of the bond(s) on the Defendant’s behalf. Copies of these forms are available on our site. Other accepted forms of collateral that are accepted are: Mortgage Agreement(s), cash, money orders or credit cards. It should be understood that if a client selects to use a credit card to post the collateral, the current credit card fee that is imposed by the financial institution for the monetary transaction, can and should be charged to the depositor in addition to the total amount of collateral accepted. The credit card fee is NOT refundable. However, if a client uses a credit card to pay the “bail premium" or “bond fee” on the bond(s), these credit card fees must be absorbed by the Bail Agent and cannot be passed along to the client. *Depending on the level of risk of the bond(s) for the Defendant, we may require that a mortgage agreement be executed to secure the Defendant’s release, or cash collateral may be requested to be held until such time the Defendant’s bonds are discharged or terminated. It’s important to understand that if cash collateral is accepted, the cash SHALL be deposited into an escrow account and kept totally and completely separate from the Bail Agents personal or operating funds. These collateral funds SHALL be returned in full to the depositor upon completion of the Defendant’s case(s). The only exception to the collateral being returned to the depositor is in the event the Defendant fails to appear and their bond(s) are forfeited. At this point, the collateral being held in trust can be converted and used to pay the forfeiture(s) to the respective court. What happens when a person is arrested? When a person is arrested they are typically entitled to a bond. Usually a bond is set in accordance with a local bond schedule, although bonds can be higher or lower than the amounts stated on the schedule. There are some cases, such as a capital case or domestic the defendant may not be entitled to a bond. In Florida, a defendant is entitled to appear in front of a judge within 24 hours of his or her arrest. This is called a First Appearance. The primary purpose of this appearance is for the Judge to determine whether there is enough information in the arrest affidavit as to establish probable cause against the defendant. The Judge at this time has the right to keep, lower or raise the bond set at the time of the defendant's booking.
Serving All of Florida