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Charles Schmidt, Professional Bonding Agent
Colorado Division of Insurance License Number: #403601
It is a very frustrating and stressful time when you or a loved one get arrested. A judge in the United States court system has several options in order to set bail for the accused person which can be from a NO BOND (usually meant for extremely high flight risk defendants, or potential threat to public safety), personal recognizance (often times referred to as a PR bonds, or court signature bail bonds), a cash only bail bond, or from a hundred dollars to as much as several tens of thousands of dollars. Every crime in Colorado is bondable.
However, there may be persons, especially in this economy who can not acquire the necessary funds to meet the full bail amount, so in order to help the accused person re-connect with his family and friends and get back to work while awaiting their next court date, they can do to a bail bonding agent for help.
Typically a bail bond fee is charged for producing the bond is a small percentage of the actual bail which is more affordable. This is how it works: the main purpose of a bail bond is to enable the accused person to return to his/her normal life wile awaiting arraignment (to return to court to answer to an accusation), or trial. After a bond is issued, which is usually within several hours of an arrest with the correct paperwork and fees, the arrested person would most likely be required to show up at the bonding company to have their picture taken and/or provide any other personal information that would be required by the bonding agent.
On average (Statewide in Colorado), the cost of a bail bond ranges from as little as 4% to 15% (the maximum allowed by the Division of Insurance) plus any detention facilities fees (bail bond booking fee - again on average as little as $10 to as much as $50 per bond depending on the detention facility). A bail bond is good up until the next court date or continuance (does not matter if the case takes month's or years to finish). The bail bond will continue enforce untill the close of the case and the bail bond is released.
A bail bonding company has to issue a check to the court to provide security in assuring that the accused person will return to court. The Bonding agent charges a small service fee for this privilege. The Bonding agent in essence then becomes the jailer.
The defendant is not totally free at this point and is still considered in custody, but out on liberty to secure legal counsel to address the charges alleged against them. The defendant must comply with all of the terms and conditions of their bond set by either the court or the bail bonding agent or both (much like probation). The bail bonding agent, the court or even the co-signer (indemnitor) retain the right to revoke for any reason or no reason whatsoever for any bail bond violation.
NOTE: U.S. Supreme Court 1873, Taylor v. Taintor, 16 Wall. 366.
In 1873, the U.S. Supreme Court Case "Taylor vs. Taintor" gave bail enforcement agents nearly limitless power and authority when hunting down a subject. This means that a bounty hunter may enter their premise if needed to capture their wanted fugitive, whether it be on behalf of a financial institution, company or government authority. When bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the care, custody, and control of his sureties. Their dominion is a continuance of the original imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize him and deliver him up in their discharge; and if that cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their rights in person or through an agent. They may pursue him into another State; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and if necessary, may break and enter into his house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of new process. None is needed. It is likened to the re-arrest by the sheriff of an escaping prisoner.
Upon a bail bond revocation or if s/he does not show up for their appointed court date the bond becomes forfeited, and the court would then have to cash the bonding agents check at the bail bonding company's expense and the bail bond company would have the right to hire a fugitive recovery company or individual "Bounty Hunter" (a person who hunts escaped fugitives) to find and return him/her back to the custody of the courts jurisdiction that the bail bond was issued out of.
On extremely large bail bonds or those of high risk, the bail bonding agent may demand additional collateral to cover the total value of the bail bond, or even multiple co-signors (this is at the discretion of the bail bonding agent and is evaluated by a case by case basis).
There is another way you can help the arrested person post the bail bond amount if you absolutely can not afford it financially. Some people may opt to put property (such as their home) as collateral to the bail bonding company. It is essential to find out the amount of equity of the house before making such an offer. The requirement is that the net equity of the house has to be typically one and a half times greater than the total amount of the bail bond or bail bonds, or even double in rare cases. This depends on which state you reside in since the requirements vary state to state.
You must be prepared to provide a detailed description of the property, the location, current appraisal (has to be issued by a licensed real estate agent or county tax assessor), recent tax assessments, statement of ownership which is usually known as a deed, and not to be forgotten a statement of the property's equity. In some circumstances, a house might be co-owned. In this case, a statement by the other owner may be required to show s/he agrees to the property being put up as collateral. The bond would then be held on a lien against such property.