How Does Bail Bonds Work in Pennsylvania As A Co-Signor?
To better understand how bail bonds work in Pennsylvania, it is important to note their similarities to how bail bonds companies in all 50 states work and the overall concept of a professional company that posts bail for defendants who otherwise cannot afford to do it themselves. However, it must be known that there are different ways to make bail if the defendant does not have the money to pay the court.
In Pennsylvania, your private home or commercial real estate property may be used as collateral. This is different than in New York bail where the bail must be in cash. Here, property can be used if it well exceeds the amount of the bail. Plus, the judge may not set any bail depending on the crime that is charged and release the defendant on their own recognizance.
However, if you do need the services of a bail bonds Pennsylvania company, then you will need to know the procedures and bail systems they have in place.
The Bail Bonds System in Pennsylvania
Like all states, the defendant in Pennsylvania who has been charged with a crime will have the opportunity to post bail when ordered by the court. Bail is basically a cash guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear at the appointed time. However, it is the judge’s discretion as to the amount of the bail that will be issued which will often depend on the defendant’s record and the crime itself.
In misdemeanor cases, bail is often set at $10,000 or less depending on the severity of the crime under the law. However, in felony cases bail can be quite expensive assuming it is even granted at all. It is rare that a judge will issue a bail for those charged with a felony, particularly a violent crime. However, when bail is granted it can be hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
Pennsylvania Bail Bonds Charges & Fees
Bail bondsmen will generally charge 10% of the total bail in the form of a non-refundable fee. The fee itself can come from the defendant, family member or friend on their behalf. The fee itself is not governed by the state, it is simply typical of the amount that most bail bondsmen or agencies will charge for this service.
Still, many people do not have 10% of the bail in their wallets, so the agency will often take collateral in the form of jewelry, electronics or typically a car for the 10%. In return, the bail bondsmen will agree to pay the remaining amount of the bail to the court if the defendant does not appear at their appointed time.
If the defendant choose to run or “jump bail”, the bail bond agency will often hire a bounty hunter to track down the defendant and may also sue or seize the assets in order to cover the cost to the court.
Once the bail phase has been concluded, the defendant will not be able to get their initial fee back, but their assets that were signed over as collateral will be left to them.
Video: How Bail Bonds Work in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Bail Bonds Information
How does bail bonds work in Pennsylvania? A judge will set the defendant’s bail amount. The Pennsylvania bailbond company will post the bond at 10% face value once a co-signor signs a guarantee to the bondsman the full amount of bail if the defendant does not appear in court
To learn more about how bail bonds work in Pennsylvania, you should visit the website of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department which contains the official information.