If you or a loved one ends up in jail, you may need a way to be set free before your court date instead of having to stay locked up until that date. In most cases, the judge will grant you a bail bond. If you are unsure what a bond is or how bail works in Alabama, continue reading so that you will be ready in case this unfortunate situation happens to you.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the bail bonds process and how bail bonds work in Alabama:
- How does a bail bond work? When the judge grants you a bail bond, it means that you have agreed to show up in court on the assigned court date after paying a certain amount set by the judge. The amount of the bail will depend on the severity of the crime, the criminal history of the defendant, the risk of the defendant fleeing the area, and the monetary status of the defendant. Once the amount is paid, the defendant can be released from jail until his or her court date.
- How do I use a bail bondsman? Either the defendant or a person that the defendant knows will contact a bondsman. The person chosen by the defendant will act as a co-signer and must be an individual who works full-time and rents or owns a home in the same area for a period of time. The co-signer agrees to pay the full amount of the bond if the defendant were to miss his or her court date. After the agreement is made and the premium is paid to the bondsman, the bondsman will pay the entire bond amount and the defendant will be set free.
- How much do I have to pay a bail bondsman? Your payment to a bondsman will depend on your charge. For a misdemeanor, the fee will be 3.5% of the full bail amount or $100 (whichever amount is higher) but not to exceed $450. For a felony, the fee will be 3.5% of the full bail amount or $150 (whichever amount is higher) but not to exceed $750. If the defendant is given public bail, a signature bond, or a recognizance bond, the set amount will be $25.
- Why is a bail bond necessary? The purpose of a bail bonds is to give the defendant an opportunity to be released from jail. It is also a security for the court in case the defendant fails to show for court. All monies paid in bond will go toward court and legal fees for the defendant. If the defendant shows in court, the money will be returned to the individual who pays the bond. If the defendant doesn’t show in court, the money will be forfeited to the courts. If a bondsman is used, the defendant or co-signer must reimburse the bondsman and possibly pay additional fees.
If the judge grants you bail, it is your opportunity that you should take to be released from jail. If you cannot afford the bond yourself, contacting an Alabama bail bonds agent is the answer for you.
Video: How Bail Bonds Work in Alabama
Alabama Bail Bonds Information
How does bail bonds work in Alabama? A judge sets the defendant’s bail amount. An Alabama bail bondsman will post the bond once the 10 to 15 percent premium is paid by the defendant or co-signor. If the defendant doesn’t appear in court the indemnitor owes the bondsman 100% of the bond.
Get more information about how bail bonds work in Alabama at the state insurance board: http://www.aldoi.gov/licensing/prelicensing.aspx