Are you or your loved one caught up in the middle of a legal mess in West Palm Beach, FL? If yes, Bail Bonds West Palm Beach is here to bail you out. Our good reputation as the most trusted bail bond agency in West Palm Beach- and the entire State of Florida- speaks for itself.
We are licensed to work legally within Florida. In case you wish to see our legal documents, we are always very happy to show them to you.
At Bail Bonds West Palm Beach, our team of honest and extremely professional bondsmen will reply to your request fast and efficiently. While some bail bond agencies will keep you waiting for hours on end, we promise to get you or your loved out of jail in a few hours, if not immediately. And because we know how devastating this process can be on your part, we will handle it with the utmost of respect, privacy, and integrity.
Our bondsmen are highly trained and experienced to handle any unique bail needs that you could have. We understand that these are hard times for you and your loved ones and for that, we are very flexible with our payment options. We work with your financial situation, charge a very reasonable premium, and our repayment terms are easy to understand.
We believe that you have a right to understand the entire bail bond process, from the bail hearing to how repayments will be made. If you have any questions regarding the process, we are happy to explain. Ours is to help, not complicate things for you If you are new to bails and bonds, we have prepared a simple guide for you to understand what these legal processes are and how they work within the jurisdiction of West Palm Beach. Please be our guest.
What are Bail Bonds?
When someone is arraigned in court for an alleged offense, one of two things happen: Either the judge decides to have them locked up in jail or, upon the accused’s request, the judge releases them on bail.
What is Bail?
Bail refers to the temporary release of a criminal defendant or accused person by a court of law before the completion of their trial process. Although not always, bail is mostly granted on the condition that the defendant lodges a specified sum of money to the court as a guarantee that he or she will appear in court whenever required to.
What happens if the criminal defendant is unable to raise the bail money? They get two more options: Bail collateral The defendant or someone acting on their behalf can offer bail collateral to the court in place of the required bail money, or, if they were able to raise part of the money, the bail collateral can serve as a top-up for the remaining balance.
What is Bail Collateral?
Bail collateral is more or less the same as asset-based lending. The collateral can be a house, stock, car or other assets whose value exceed the bail amount. If a defendant uses properties such as a car or a house as bail collateral, they can continue staying in the house or driving the car, but they must deposit the deed or pink slip in the court’s trust. However, if they use small possessions such as jewelry or artifacts, the court takes the physical possession of those items and only gives them back upon the completion of the trial.
Bail Bonds: If, after getting released on bail, a criminal defendant is unable to raise the required bail amount, a bail bond agent can make bail on the defendant’s behalf, upon the request of the defendant. That form of bail payment is known as bail bond or surety bond.
Bail bond agents, also known as bondsmen, are people licensed under the law to pay the bond on behalf of criminal defendants. Bail bond should not be confused with cash bail. Whereas anyone- maybe a family member or a friend- can post cash bail for a defendant, bail bonds can only be posted by a licensed bond agent. In both cases, however, the defendant must show up in court failure to which the bail is forfeited.
So, is bail a punishment for being guilty? No, it is not. Bail is mostly assigned way before an individual is found innocent or guilty of the alleged crimes and does not influence the outcome of the criminal justice process in any way.
Importance of Bail in the Criminal Justice System
Bail helps a state to reduce the burden of holding all accused persons in custody. Some trial processes can take years to finalize and, if all criminal defendants were to be locked up, that would necessitate an unlimited jail space within a jurisdiction; which is practically impossible. Feeding the jailed persons would also mean a huge burden on the taxpayer.
Another important role of bail is that it ensures that defendants have their freedom during the process of proving their innocence. By law, every accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. On the other hand, bail protects the interests of public safety by ensuring that guilty but not yet convicted defendants do not use their freedom to escape justice.
At What Stage Is Bail Granted?
A defendant can be granted bail at almost any stage of the criminal justice process, right from the day they were arrested to the day the court renders its verdict. State laws provide for three possible bail scenarios:
Depending on the level of the alleged crime(s), an accused person can get released by police upon arrest without posting bail, or they can post bail upon booking at the police station, or they may have to wait until the court grants them bail following a bail hearing.
What Is A Signature Bond?
A signature bond is an affordable alternative to bail bonds. Instead of depositing cash or property with the court, the defendant signs a promise not to skip trial if released, with the possibility of being slapped with a monetary judgment in case they fail to honor the promise.
Signature bonds are usually assigned to defendants charged with minor felony cases, those who cannot threaten public safety, or those with no prior criminal history.
Bail Bond Schedules in West Palm Beach, FL
What Are Bail Bond Schedules?
A bail bond schedule is a charge-based system or a list that courts within a given jurisdiction use to establish the monetary value of bail bonds for specific charges or a group of related charges. The schedule is provided for by state laws, not federal law.
When a defendant appears before a federal court, it is up to the court to determine not only whether or not to grant them bail but also the bail amount. The federal judge will set the bail amount based on the alleged crime, probability of the accused to flee, and whether or not the accused is a repeat offender.
Consider this example: The bond schedule of a state may establish a $1,000 bail for the charge of disorderly conduct or driving under the influence, $500 for shoplifting, and $5000 for housebreaking. However, the defendant, through their attorney, has the right to file a motion to have the bail amount reduced if they find it unreasonably high. They only succeed by proving that the defendant doesn’t have the means to raise the set amount and that they have no intentions of skipping court.
Bail Bonds and Bondsmen: How the System Works
Bail bond (surety bond) is a promise by a bails bond agent to pay the full bond amount to the court should the criminal defendant fails to honor their terms of release. The defendant doesn’t pay anything to the court, but they must pay a non-refundable bond agent fee to the bondsman upon being bailed out of jail.
How Much Is the Bond Agent Fee?
If a defendant was granted bail by a state court, the bond agent fee is 10% of the total bail amount. For example, a defendant who gets a $10,000 bail from a state court will need to pay $1,000 as bond agent fee.
On the other hand, bail granted by a federal court will attract a bond agent fee of 15% of the total bail amount. A $10,000 bail, in this case, would mean $1,500 agent fee.
In Florida, the least a defendant can pay as bond agent fee is $100. In the rare case that the court sets bail at less than $1,000, for example, $900, the defendant will still pay $100 to the bondsman even though 10% of $900 is $90.
Bond Agency Pricing
Bond agent fee is a payment for services rendered; not collateral. To secure the bond, therefore, many bail bond agencies will ask for bond collateral up front. This is particularly because if the defendant fails to comply with all the court instructions and rules, the bond agent must pay the defendant’s full bail amount failure to which their license is revoked. The bond collateral, in this case, can be anything from expensive jewelry, land, house, car, boat, or any other valuable items.
What Happens If the Defendant Doesn’t Have Valuable Items For Collateral?
A bond agent can require the criminal defendant to have a co-signer- mostly a friend or family member with the will and ability to pay back the bail money. In case the accused skips bail, the co-signer pays the full bond amount.
The eligibility for this option will depend on the co-signer’s trustworthiness as well as the defendant’s criminal record, type of current employment, length of stay as a resident in the area, among other considerations.
Returning Bail Money or Bail Collateral
When the defendant complies with the bond conditions to the letter until the conclusion of their case, then the court or bondsman is required by law to return the bail money or collateral, the outcome of the case notwithstanding.
If the defendant pleads guilty or fails to prove their innocence, the court discharges all or part of the bail money on the day of sentencing. If the court finds them not guilty at the end of the trial, all or part of their bail is discharged the day the court renders its decision.
One of the reasons why a defendant may not receive their full bail amount back is if they accrued expenses within the course of their trial, for example, public defender fees and court costs and fines.
The defendant may lose the entire bail money if they are rearrested while out on bail. Bail collateral is returned within 5 working days for both bondsmen and courts. However, if the defendant opts to run before the trial date, the bond agent or the court has the right to seize and sell the property placed as bail collateral. The equity in the property is set at least 150% of the owed bail amount.
If a defendant fails to honor their agreement with the bondsman to the extent that the agent is forced to pay the court, the law allows the agent to hunt down the defendant and bring them to the jurisdiction of the court. Some bond agents hire bounty hunters to apprehend fugitives on their behalf. It is only after bringing the fugitive to book that the bonds agent gets their money back.
Can the Public Access Bail Bond Information?
Yes and no.
Yes, because the bondsman will file its records with the court that granted bail to the accused. The alleged crime, bond amount, and credentials of the bond agent will be public information.
No, because the personal information of the accused is only accessible to the bondsman. The agents are actually restricted by their Code of Ethics from sharing their clients’ confidential information with third parties. That is unless they are subpoenaed by an attorney to release information that could be vital for the commencement of the case.
What Jail Do You Bail Out Someone in West Palm Beach?
Palm Beach County Main Detention Center
What You Need to Know:
Upon detention, a person must be booked before any bail requests are made. The entire booking process takes approximately four hours but in case there are too many arrestees, it can take up to 12 hours. To avoid any inconveniences, it would be wise to source for a bail bondsman in advance.
There you have it. Our hope is that you now understand bailing, bonding, and everything around the two. You also understand that, although not entirely impossible, bailing someone out can cause a lot of heartache and stress.
Please give Bail Bonds West Palm Beach the honor of lessening that emotional burden for you and your loved ones. We work with the courts and jails for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to expedite the bailing process. Contact us as soon as possible.
Jail Bail Bonds West Palm Beach
- Address: 1138 S Congress Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33406
- Phone: 561.286.7017