The Biggest Misconception About Bail Bonds
Date Published: November 28, 2017
Most people believe they have a good understanding of bail and how bail works to get someone released from jail. They are usually surprised, however, when they actually have to interact with the legal system and discover they don’t understand everything the way thought they did. One of the biggest misconceptions that people who call our Mississippi Bonding agents is what the courts do with bail money.
A defendant can be released multiple ways; they can be released on their own recognizance, release on a cash bond, a property bond or a surety bond posted by a bail agent. It is up to a judge to decide how the defendant may be released. Bail is always set by a judge. Bail agents have nothing to do with the amount of bail that is set. Bail is a way to make sure a defendant appears for their future court dates. If the bond is put up cash with the court, the court will probably keep the bail money. The money that’s put up for bail is held by the courts until the defendant shows up for all of the court dates. If the defendant is found Not Guilty, the defendant will receive the money back. Make sure that you understand that if you’re putting cash bond money up for a defendant that it is the defendant who will be the one who gets your money – if their found Not Guilty. If they are found guilty – there will be no money to return. The money put up for bail will be taken to pay the fines and court cost and somehow, there is never anything left over. Repeat – there will never be money returned if the defendant is found guilty. While it’s easier to get someone out on a surety bail bond posted by a bail agent, we do recommend a cash bond if the bond is less than $500.00. It really does not make sense for you to pay a bail agent the state minimum premium of $150.00 when you can put up the cash bond and be through with the charge. If $150.00 is all you can come up with, then we’re certainly willing to help you get the defendant out, but we just want you to know that you’d be better off posting a cash bond for a smaller amount.
In Mississippi, a defendant can be released on a property bond. This requires two separate property owners to put up enough property, as appraised on the tax rolls above homestead exemption, to sign the bond guaranteeing the defendant will appear for all of his court dates. It can only be done when the Chancery Clerk and Tax Assessor is open and can only be approved by the Sheriff. If the defendant does not appear, the Sheriff has to take both pieces of property.
The best way to make sure a defendant appears in court is to release them on a secured bond issued by a bail agent. As a rule, this is the cheapest and fastest way for a family to get their loved one released. You will pay a bail agent ten percent of the bond amount if the defendant’s domicile is in Mississippi and fifteen percent if they reside outside the state or if the charge is a capital offense. This is an insurance premium and regardless of guilt or innocence, the premium will not be returned.
So should you use a bail bond company or put up the bail yourself? If you have the cash on hand to put up your own bail, that could be a good option, especially on small bonds. Most people don’t have thousands of dollars of cash on hand, though, and must use the services of a bail bondsman. For the premium they pay, they get the peace of mind of being out of jail until their court date and not having to deplete their savings or credit cards for the necessary bail amount.
If you or a loved one are facing an arrest or have already been arrested, Mississippi Bonding Company can help. We’ll explain all of your bail options to you so you can get the information that you need in order to make the best choice for you and your family. You can call one of our bail agents at 1-800-638-4088 or contact us through our website at http://www.msbonding.com/ for more information and to start the bail bond process right away.
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