Are you Contemplating How Bail Bonds Work in New Mexico?

When it comes to finding out about how bail bonds work in New Mexico; it falls under the same basic bail system as most other states. In fact, New Mexico residents can get online bail bonds governed by the same set of laws, rules and regulations that most states follow. Of course there is some leeway in terms of how defendants and cosignors work with bailbond agents in getting a bond approved.

New Mexico bail laws (NM Code R. § allow bail bond agents to post 10% of the bail to free defendants held in custody. A bondsman’s fee is 10% of the total bail amount; so a $10,000 bond will cost $1,000 saving you 90% of the cash bail charge.

The Bail Bonds System in New Mexico

The system in New Mexico mirrors that of most states in that a person who is arrested and put in jail will undergo the booking process which may last for an hour or two before a court date is made and bail is set. The individual charged will have the option to either remain in jail until the court date arrives or they can be released by paying bail which will be returned to them after the court appearance has been made.

If they cannot pay the cash bail immediately, then they can use the services of a New Mexico bail bonds agent who can post the bond for them. Bail bond agents can be contacted by the person charged or a friend or family member after the bail has been set. Bail bond agencies have been in New Mexico for many decades, even before the formation of the state and are a part of the system designed to help defendants get released from jail before their court date.

New Mexico Bail Bonds Charges & Fees

As with most states, New Mexico has created rules that govern how the bail bonds agent may charge for their services and these can be found in the New Mexico bail bonds laws section 13 NMAC 20.2. Basically, the charge is a 10% fee of the total amount of the bail set. This means that if the bail is set at $5,000, the fee will be $500 and non-refundable even if the case is dismissed. Once the fee is paid, the onus of the individual’s court appearance now rests with the bail bonds agent who assures the court that the person will arrive or they will forfeit the total amount of the bail money.

While bail bonds agents are limited in the fee that they can charge, many of them will accept different forms of financing. It is common for many agents to accept credit cards, collateral or other form of payment that is acceptable to the bail bonds agent. In addition, a friend or family member who co-signs is liable for the full amount of the bail if the defendant does not show up for their court date. However, if the defendant is subsequently arrested or caught by a bounty hunter, then they are only liable for the expenses incurred for the search and capture of the defendant.

Understanding New Mexico Bail Works

Part of understanding how bail bonds work in New Mexico, cosignors will want to find the best, most reputable agents in Bernalillo County to get the most secure bond possible. To find out more about New Mexico bail bond agencies, the New Mexico Insurance Department website has the basic rules and information that bail bondsmen must follow to set up and run their business.

How to post cash bail in New Mexico

Cash bail is posted with the District Court Clerk’s Office in your county. You’ll need to bring with you:

  • The full amount of the bonds can only be paid in cash, money order or certified check by a bank.
  • You will need a current, valid, state issued driver’s license.
  • Some things you need to know about paying cash bail in New Mexico:

    • Bail payments may be accepted Monday through Friday from 8am-12pm and 1pm-4:30pm.
    • Court Clerk hours may differ in different New Mexico counties. As well, you must observe holiday closures and hours.
    • Once the bond money has been paid, an Order Setting Conditions of Release will be filed by the judge.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about New Mexico Bail Bonds
    Q: Do you get bail money back in New Mexico courts?
    A: If you used a New Mexico bail bonds company the 10% you paid is a fee (called the premium) that is not returned. But, any collateral given to the bondsman would be returned. If you posted cash bail to the court and the defendant has gone to all court dates and the trial is over or the person plead out, you will get 100% of your bail money returned.
    TIP: If you opted to pay cash bail, keep your bail receipt given to you by the County Clerk, you will need this to get reimbursed.

    Q: Is New Mexico a no bail state?
    A: Bail can only be denied to those charged with a capital felony, defendant with 2 or more felony convictions or defendant accused of a felony involving deadly weapons.

    Q: What does “No Bond” mean in New Mexico?
    A: No bond means a defendant’s charges, criminal history (or both) will be looked at by a judge. A prosecutor may suggest to the court you be held without bond but the ultimate decision falls to the judge to make a ruling. The problem is that New Mexico is relying on judges to determine who is unsafe.

    Q: Can I be held without bond?
    A: Yes. In 2016 New Mexico voters opted to approve an amendment to eliminate cash bail. This depends if a judge believes you to be a danger to society, you could remain in jail rather than bond out.

    Q: When will the defendant be released from jail if I post bond?
    A: Depending on the time of day and day of the week, a defendant might not be released until the next workday after a cash bond is posted. If using a bail bondsman the defendant will be released within hours.

    Q: I posted cash bail to the Court Clerk and the case is over, when do I get my money back?
    A: Any bond payment will be released after the defendant is sentenced or their case is closed/dismissed. The money will ONLY be returned to the person who posted the bond.

    Q: What are the steps to getting my bond money returned?
    A: If you posted the bond to the Court, you will get refunded, but only until after paperwork has been filed and completed. It may be a lengthy process. Here are the steps to getting bond money returned:

    1. Documents resulting from Judgment/Sentencing, which exonerates the bail bond, must be filed in the Court Clerk Office.
    2. The Judge or staff then prepare an order that releases the cash bond once the case is completed.
    3. If you do not live in the area of the court, you will need to make arrangements with the Court Clerk to have the check mailed to you.
    4. To pick up your cash bond refund check in person, you must present a current state issued driver’s license or ID card that matches the information on the bond.

    Q: Why won’t the court refund my bail money?
    A: This happens if the Order to Release Bond is not submitted by the court. You may need to hire the attorney who represented the defendant to file a Motion to Release Bond and an Order Releasing Bond. The defendant’s attorney and the District Attorneys office must sign the Motion to Release. Then, the Motion and Order are presented to the Judge for their signature. When the order is finally signed by a judge, it’s then filed in the Clerk’s Office. A copy of the Order and supporting documents is sent to the Finance Office and then a check is cut to you. This is a long, drawn out process and could take weeks to get a refund. Which is why it’s always faster to use a bondsman.

    Video: How Bail Bonds Work in Albuquerque

    New Mexico Bail Bonds Information

    How does bail bonds work in New Mexico? A judge will set the defendant’s bail amount. The New Mexico bail bonds agent posts the bond once a co-signor guarantees the full amount of bail to the bondsman will be paid if the defendant does not appear in court for trial.