MOUNTAIN MAN BAIL BONDING-FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ'S)
IT IS COMMON FOR PEOPLE TO NOT KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT REGARDING BAIL BONDS UNTIL THEY, A FRIEND, OR RELATIVE IS ARRESTED. AS A RESULT, THEY OFTEN ASK THE SAME QUESTIONS ABOUT BAIL, THE BONDING PROCESS, HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH A BAIL BONDSMAN, & THE ASSOCIATED COSTS. WE WILL ATTEMPT TO ANSWER MOST OF THESE FAQ'S FOR OUR BAIL BONDING COMPANY BELOW.
Q-What is a Bail Bond?
A-A Bail Bond is a contract between the Bail Bond Company, the Co-signer, & the Defendant that the accused will show for any future court appearances. The court sets the bail or bond $ amount & the bail bonding company (after all required paper work is completed) will turn in the bond on the accused & if everything is in order & all compliances are met, the jail will release into custody the accused (Defendant) to the bail bondsman & the Co-signer (Guarantor) pending future court dates.
Q-What do I need to bond someone out of jail?
A-A professional bail bondsman (if you so choose), the premium (based on the bail amount), the fees, co-signer(s), & possibly some form of collateral to secure the bond.
Q-What information do I need when I call?
A-In most cases, the defendant's full name & jail location is all we need to answer your questions.
Q-How much does a bond cost?
A-In Arkansas it is 10% of the bail amount rounded up to the nearest $5 amount & this dollar amount is referred to as the “Premium” (with a minimum amount being $50) plus required Arkansas fees with every bond posted & they include the following: Public Defender Fee $20.00, Admin Fee $20.00, State Fee $20.00 and County or City Bond Fee $20.00 for a total of $80.00 plus the Premium Amount for each bond written.
Q-Where can we write bonds?
A-Anywhere in the state of Arkansas.
Q-Is the bail bond fee refundable?
A-NO, once a bail bond has been posted for the defendant, the money is then earned by the bail bond company even if the charges are dropped or the defendant is found not guilty.
Q-What is a co-signer, guarantor, or indemnitor & what are his/her/their responsibility?
A-A co-signer, guarantor, or indemnitor are all words with the same definition. If you sign as one of the above you are accepting a great deal of responsibility. Be sure you understand what you are agreeing to do. It COULD cost you thousands of dollars!! You may be agreeing to:
1) Paying the balance of the bond premium if not paid by the defendant.
2) Assist the bondsman in attempting to locate the defendant if he/she misses a court date.
3) Pay the expenses of apprehending the defendant & returning him/her to the jurisdiction of the court. This could be very expensive if several trips are required to locate the defendant.
4) Pay the full amount of the bond if the defendant is not located & returned to the court in the time allowed. This is in addition to paying the expenses of trying to locate the defendant.
AS YOU CAN SEE, SIGNING ON A BAIL BOND CAN BE VERY EXPENSIVE. PLEASE BE SURE YOU KNOW THE INDIVIDUAL VERY WELL BEFORE CO-SIGNING ON A BOND.
Q-What is collateral?
A-Collateral is money, property, or anything we deem of value that we hold while the defendant is out on bail. The collateral is returned when the defendant has completely settled the case and all obligations to the bonding company have been satisfied.
Q-How do I know when the defendant has to go to court?
A-It is your responsibility to know when the defendant has to go to court. The defendant will be given an arraignment date upon his/her release from jail. After that, it is the defendant & co-signer's responsibility to know or find out their next court appearances. Typically, the courts will notify us when the defendant is to appear. You may call our company at 479-521-7100 anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to check on the status of any court dates.
Q-Do I have to pay you the FULL value of the bond?
A-You ARE liable for the full amount of the bond plus expenses if that person does not go to court. However, a Failure To Appear (F.T.A) in court does not necessarily mean you'll have to pay the full amount of the bond. While there is NO EXCUSE for missing court we strongly encourage our clients to notify us of any unusual circumstances so that we can discuss possible options for them.
Q-Can the defendant leave the state or the country while on a bail bond?
A-You will have to get permission from the bonding office in writing before attempting to do so. If the court has given you explicit instructions not to leave the state or country you must then get written permission from the bonding company & the court before leaving, otherwise, you are subject to arrest. We recommend not planning “any” trips of a non-emergency nature until you have completely resolved all of your legal issues.
Q-How long will it take to get someone out of jail?
A-It depends on the charges, when they are “booked in”, when the bail is set, & where the jail is located. Once everything has been processed it usually only takes about 30 minutes for a bondsman to write most bonds & once the jail receives our paperwork, the release time is usually an hour or less for local police stations. County jails & larger holding facilities generally take a little longer. All holding facilities are required by the state to have a list of most local bonding companies posted in a location accessible to the defendant & the call to the bonding company from the jail is free.
Q-Is a person only allowed one phone call from jail?
A-No. The defendant can make as many calls as are needed to family & friends to get needed information to negotiate a bond, but, only the calls to the bonding company are FREE. Check your local holding facility of your defendant for more information on how non-bonding company phone calls can be made.
Q-Can I do a cash bond myself?
A-You may be able to do so for traffic & other minor violations, however, most states require a licensed bond agent to guarantee larger bonds. Also, if approved by the Judge, you may be able to use real property (such as a home or a lot) if acceptable by the court.
Q-What does “Released on my own Recognizance” mean. Sometimes, depending on the charges or the holding facility a judge may “O.R.” someone from jail. This usually means that the defendant is not a threat to him/her-self or anyone else & may be released without the use of a bondsman, but that does not mean that the defendant will have no court date, no charges, no fines or any other legal obligations that they will be responsible for.
Q-Can I speak to the person who has been arrested & is waiting to be booked?
A-No. You will not be able to contact the person at this time.
Q-Can the bail bond agent arrest me & put me back in jail for any reason if they want to?
A-NO!! The bail agent MUST have a legitimate reason if they choose to arrest or apprehend the defendant & return them to the custody of the jail. The primary reason a bail bond agent has the right, as well as the responsibility to arrest the defendant is if the defendant willfully & with intent fails to appear in court & subjects the bail bond agent to being ordered by the court to pay the full amount of the bond. Other reasons that are legitimate are; if any false or misleading information is provided by the defendant during the posting of their bond(s); if the defendant leaves the jurisdiction of the court without permission or consent; if the defendant moves from one residential address to another without notifying the bail bond agent “PRIOR” to the move; if the defendant is re-arrested for any new criminal offense other than a minor traffic offense while the original bond is still active. Most importantly, during any course of time while the defendant is on bond with the bail bond agent, the defendant does anything or commits any act that reasonably & verifiably leads the bail bond agent to believe that the defendant will cause a forfeiture of the bond, breach of the bond or violation of the original bond conditions will result in being re-arrested. The defendant & co-signer(s) will STILL BE responsible & liable for the FULL AMOUNT of the bond plus ANY EXPENSES incurred during this process.