There are some industries out there that are misunderstood, sounded by misconceptions that can cause a lot of confusion and can result in customers not getting the service they need. The bail bond industry is a great example. Bail bondsmen are consistently mischaracterized in films, which gives consumers the impression that they are bad people and that the industry isn’t safe. However, if you have been arrested and need to pay bail in order to be released from jail, this industry can become incredibly beneficial. Keep reading to learn the biggest myths surrounding the bail bond industry.
At ASAP Bail Bonds, we provide professional service to the entire Gwinnett County area. Whether you have been arrested for a DUI, robbery, or sexual abuse, we will keep your situation as discreet as possible and will offer services with honesty and empathy. We understand that being arrested is a stressful situation, let alone needing to find the funds in order to continue going to work and leading your life. When you need us to provide the court with a bond on your behalf, you can trust us to be there throughout the process.
Top Misunderstandings About Bail Bonds
Bail Bondsmen Have Dangerous Jobs
This is a great example of a myth that has been perpetuated by Hollywood films. You may have an image of a bail bondsmen as someone who is tall, tough, and built; that their office is in a small, old, rundown building; and that the office staff are all ex-cons or bouncers. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The bail bond industry is a professional job like any other, and while their offices may be small, it’s simply because they don’t require a lot of space. Bail bond companies do work with criminals, but it’s just as likely, if not more so, that you would run into people convicted of a DUI than with serious felonies.
Bail Bondsmen Are Criminals
Many people believe that bail bondsmen can charge whatever fees they want to or that they can be dangerous when you are unable to pay them the fees. In the past, the industry may not have been as regulated as it is now, however, when you are need of a bail bond company, they are reliable, trustworthy, and can offer you some relief in an already stressful situation.
You Could Lose Everything if You Can’t Afford Bail
Depending on the crime, and several other factors, bail amounts can be set at anywhere from $500 to $1 million. In some cases, you can put up some collateral instead of a bail being set, such as your house, car, or a combination of assets. Bail amounts or assets used as collateral can be staggering, making it appear as if you would lose everything if you couldn’t pay. However, when there is a bail amount set, you only have to pay a certain percentage of that amount to the bail bond company. For example, if your bail was set at $10,000 and the bail bond fee was 10%, then you would owe the company $1,000. If you couldn’t pay this amount all at once, the bond service can set up a monthly payment plan. As ASAP Bail Bonds, we don’t want to make a stressful situation worse by creating a financial issue on top of it. If there are circumstances that may make monthly payments difficult, such as child support or being let go from your job, let us know and we’ll do what we can to make payments possible.
There’s Nothing Else to Do After You Pay Bail
Simply paying the bail amount, or having a bail bond company pay it on your behalf, doesn’t mean that you are out of the woods just yet. When you are out on bail, you are still required to show up to your court hearing. The purpose of having a bail is to ensure that you do show up to court. There may also be terms and conditions of your release that you will need to follow, such as staying with state lines, or even staying in your home. There may be additional conditions set by the bail company to ensure you do go to your court hearing. The team at ASAP Bail Bonds will help you get out of jail and will also help you navigate the court system so that all rules and regulations are followed.
I’ll Get All My Money Back
This myth is partly true, and we touched on this somewhat above. In order to use a bail bond company, you need to pay for the services they provide. This is done by paying a certain percentage of the bail amount, which is usually somewhere between 10% and 15%. This bond fee is set depending on the crime, if there is a criminal record, and other factors. The only time you would get all of your money back is if you paid the bail on your own and you showed up to your court hearing.
Bail and Bonds are the Same
The term “bail bond” is often heard due to the name of many businesses in this industry. However, bail is an amount that must be paid in order for you to get out of jail. A bond is what the bond company issues the court in place of the bail payment. There are also several types of bonds:
- Personal Recognizance Bond: A judge can release a defendant when they believe they aren’t a danger to the public. There isn’t any money due, but the person must appear at their court date.
- Surety Bond: This is the most common type of bond, where a bond company pays the bail amount on behalf of a defendant.
- Cash Bond: A cash bond is when the entire sum is paid to the court, but rather than a bail bond company, the defendant themselves, a member of their family, or a friend provides the money. The provider of the funds gets all of the money back when the court process is complete.
- Cash Percentage Bond: Similar to a cash bond, this is when only a percentage of the bail is paid. If the terms of bail are not met, the court can seize property that adds up to the entire bail amount.
Bail Bondsmen Only Take Cash
This may have been true when debit and credit cards weren’t as popular, but bail bond companies can take payment in many forms. Credit cards, debit cards, certified cashier’s checks, traveler’s checks, or money orders are usually accepted.
Bail Amounts Can be Negotiated
Some may believe that the bail bondsman has control over how much bail is set for, or can negotiate the amount. The truth is that the only person who can set bail is the judge. In some cases when the crime is minor, jails will have predetermined bail amounts, or bail schedules. In this instance, the preset bail amount can be paid without having to wait for a hearing with a judge.
Only Family Can Bail a Defendant Out of Jail
Anyone who is older than 18 years of age can post bail for someone in jail. They can be a family member, a friend, a coworker, or a bail bonds company. When it’s someone other than a bail bondsman, that person will get their money back if the defendant appears at their court hearing.
You Need The Whole Bail Amount
If possible, given the specifics of your case, a cash percentage bond might be an option. In which case, you will only need to give a certain percentage of the bail amount. You may also need to put up some assets as collateral, but in many cases, this is easier than coming up with thousands of dollars.
Bail Bondsmen Are Bounty Hunters
These are two separate jobs and have completely separate responsibilities. A bail bondsman may hire a bounty hunter when a defendant has skipped out on bail and they can’t be found. If you show up at your court hearing, you won’t need to worry about a bounty hunter looking for you.
The Bail Bond Industry Is Unregulated
This couldn’t be further from the truth. The bail bond industry is highly regulated to ensure defendants aren’t being charged exuberant fees. Depending on the state, bail bondsman need to be licensed in order to post bail, they need to pass state exams and background checks, meet some financial requirements, and need to stay up-to-date with training and any updated regulations.
Contact ASAP Bail Bonds in Gwinnett County
Our bail bondsman offers professional and discreet services regardless of the situation or crime, whether you were arrested for a DUI, drug charges, or robbery. We strive to make the process as simple and stress-free as possible. If you have been arrested and need to post bail so you can continue going to work and living your life, don’t hesitate to contact the team at ASAP Bail Bonds. We’re here to help you.