College Park, located in Fulton County, Georgia, has about 30,000 residents. Reports state that your…
Bail is a term used in the legal system to refer to the money or property posted by a defendant to guarantee their appearance in court. It is set by a judge to ensure that the defendant will attend their trial and not flee. However, it’s important to understand that bail is not always granted and that the amount set can vary depending on the severity of the crime committed. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the basics of bail and discuss your rights as a defendant or family member.
How Bail Works
When an individual is arrested, they are taken into custody and brought before a judge for their arraignment. This is where the defendant enters their plea, and bail is usually set. If the defendant cannot afford the bail amount, they may seek the assistance of a bail bondsman. A bail company, like Caprock Bail Bonds, will post the full amount of the bail to the court, and the defendant will pay a percentage of that amount to the bondsman as a fee. If the defendant attends all court proceedings, the bondsman will receive their money back from the court, and the defendant’s fee will be returned.
Your Right to a Reasonable Bail
The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees that no defendant shall be subjected to “excessive bail.” This means that the bail amount set must reflect the severity of the crime committed. Additionally, the court cannot use bail as a form of punishment. If you feel that your bail has been set too high, you can request a bail reduction hearing. During this hearing, you may present evidence such as your financial situation to request a lower bail amount.
If you choose to hire a bail bondsman to post your bail, you have the right to receive a reasonable fee. Bail bond companies in different states have different fee arrangements, but typically, the fee is around 10% of the bail amount. However, some companies may charge higher fees, so it’s important to research and compare fees from different providers.
Your Right to Examine the Bail Receipt
When you post bail or hire a bondsman to do so, you have the right to receive a receipt outlining the amount paid and any associated fees. Keep this receipt as it will be useful later if you need to dispute any discrepancies or receive a refund.
Your Right to Get Your Bail Money Back
Once your criminal case is resolved, and you have attended all court proceedings, the bail amount you posted or paid to the bondsman will be returned to you. However, note that the court may withhold a portion of the amount to cover any outstanding fines or fees you may owe. If you hired a bail bondsman, they will also receive their money back, minus their fee.
Understanding your rights around bail is critical, whether you’re a defendant or a family member trying to help. Remember, if you feel that your bail has been set too high, you have the right to request a hearing and present evidence to support your case. Additionally, always research and compare fees from different bail bond companies to ensure that you receive a reasonable fee. Ultimately, by understanding your rights, you can ensure that your bail experience is as smooth and stress-free as possible.