You or your loved one are under arrest. Maybe the first time you have to deal with the criminal justice system. We understand how daunting it can be. To better understand 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. The bail agent receives it 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, assignable 401k, car titles, art, jewelry, machinery, property, and cash are some common examples. But, be wary of an agent who wants a house to indemnify a small bond. Also, always be sure that you receive your collateral and that it is accurate. Lastly, place it somewhere secure till the case is adjudicated.
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 could encourage 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.
First, every bail agency has these requirements. The defendant as well as the Indemnitor the party guaranteeing the bond to sign papers. So, when say that all they need is your signature. What they require is signing a promissory note and indemnity agreement. This is 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:
- The 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 oftentimes 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 to the potential Indemnitor and explain how the bail bond process works and what their responsibility would be.