How Bail Bonds Work in Virginia: Everything Indemnitors Must Know
Understanding how bail bonds work in Virginia and how the bail system starts at the point when a person gets arrested by the local authorities. At that point, the person is usually taken to the nearest police station where they undergo the booking process. The bail procedure can take from one to three hours depending on a number of factors, but generally speaking this is the process that enters them into the judicial system for their upcoming trial.
At the end of the booking process, the defendant will face a judge to have their court date for the trial set and the amount of bail that will be required for their release. At that point, the defendant will have to choose between one of three options:
- Stay in jail until the trial begins
- Post the full amount of the bail to the court
- Hire a Virginia bail bonds agent
Since staying in jail for several weeks, if not months is impractical for most people and few have the full amount of bail money available, the choice generally falls to hiring a Virginia bail bondsman.
The Bail Bond System in Virginia and How It Works
The Virginia bail bonds agent charges a pre-determined, non-refundable fee for the services they provide. In return, they are held accountable by the court for the appearance of the defendant for their trial date. In this case, a contract is made between the court and the bail bonds agent who assumes full responsibility.
Once the trial date has been reached and the defendant shows up at the appointed time, the bail bonds agent and the co-signor (if any) are released from their obligations to the court.
If the defendant does not show up at the appointed time, the bondsman and the bond company is held accountable for the full amount of the bail. It is in these cases when the agent may hire a bounty hunter to find and bring the defendant to court in order to get back the bail money. This of course will cost the co-signor much more as they may have to pay for fees to recover the defendant. These fees can be office, travel and bounty expenses. So it’s best to know how bail bonds work in Virginia and what you may be in for as a co-signor of any Virginia bail bond.
What Are Virginia Bail Bonds Charges & Fees?
Unlike most other states where 10% of the total amount of the bail is the limit, in Virginia the bail bonds agents can charge no less than 10% and no more than 15% which means that they do have some wiggle room when it comes to their fees. However, you can expect that most bail bonds agencies will have set fees that are non-negotiable.
If the defendant does not have the money available to pay the fee, then many bail bond agents have lending programs. Normally, the agent will take collateral for the loan which may be in the form of a vehicle or property that constitutes more than the value of the money lent for the fee. Once the court date has passed, the defendant must pay back the amount that was borrowed over a set period of time.
When it comes to how bail bonds work in Virginia, any indemnitor (co-signor) really needs to be well informed before making the final choice of the bail bondsman to free their friend or loved one.
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In Virginia, the Division of Regulatory Affairs oversees the bail bonds agents, so for more information please consult with their website.
Video: How Bail Bonds Work in Virginia
Virginia Bail Bonds Information
How does bail bonds work in Virginia? Virginia regulates bail bond costs. Bail bonds in Virginia costs 10% of the total bail. If the bail set is $10,000 the bail bond fee would be $1000. The bail fee is a non-refundable fee paid to the Virginia bail bondsman.