If you or your loved one has been arrested, and this is the first time you’re having to deal with the criminal justice system, we understand how daunting it can be. To give you a better understanding of the process, we are providing a list of frequently asked questions about collateral. If we’ve missed anything don’t hesitate to contact us.
Read More: Bail Bond Frequently Asked Questions
There are two key elements to posting bail:
The premium or fee for the bond.
Simply put, collateral is something of value equal to the amount of the bond provided to the bail agent to insure against loss if the defendant fails to show up for court.
What are some examples of what can be used for collateral?
Financial instruments, stocks, an assignable 401k, car titles, art, jewelry, machinery, property, and cash are some of the more common examples. But be wary of an agent who wants a house to indemnify a small bond and always be sure that you receive for your collateral and that it is accurate. Place it somewhere secure till the case is adjudicate.
Also know you are not responsible for any additional fees once the case is adjudicated for example storage of fine art or a vehicle.
Why not just post the full amount of the bond and not bother with collateral?
You can but if the defendant is found guilty, the courts will deduct all fines and court costs from the cash posted. Also know that seeing that cash is available, some judges might be encouraged to set fines, and court cost at their maximum levels.
Why do some agents offer to do a bond with absolutely no collateral, just a signature?
These are what are often referred to as a “signature bond” but it would be misleading to do so.
Every bail agency requires that the defendant as well as the Indemnitor, the party guaranteeing the bond, to sign papers. So, when they say that all they need is your signature, what will be required is that you will be signing a promissory note and indemnity agreement to guarantee the full bond amount.
Do you do bonds requiring just a promissory note & Indemnity agreement?
Yes, we do.
Under what circumstances?
With clients that we have done bonds with before and have proven to be trustworthy.
With first time clients it would depend on the following:
- Defendant must be a resident of Florida
- No history of purposely failing to appear
- The amount of the bond
- No federal marshal, ICE, or out of state detainers
- Permanent residency (not a motel or R.V.)
- (Shelters – homeless requires collateral -domestic violence often times not)
- Mental Stability
- Even if the defendant doesn’t meet one or more categories, the indemnitor might
Read More: What is an Indemnitor?
We can assist by reaching out the potential indemnitor and explain how the bail bond process works and what their responsibility would be.