What is a deposit?
Bail is an agreement by a criminal defendant to appear in court or pay an amount of money fixed by the court. The bail is signed by a bondman, who charges the defendant a fee in exchange for a guarantee of payment.
Collateral is a type of bond.
The commercial bonding system exists only in the United States and the Philippines. In other countries, bail may involve a series of restrictions and conditions imposed on criminal defendants in exchange for their release until the date of their trial.
- A bond co-signed by the bailiff of bail was posted by the defendant in lieu of payment of the full bail fixed by the court.
- Bail serves as a guarantee that the defendant will appear for trial.
- Judges usually have a wide latitude in setting the amount of bail.
- Surety bondmen usually charge 10% of the collateral amount upfront in exchange for their services and may charge additional fees. Some states have limited the 8% amount charged.
- The bail system is widely viewed as discriminatory for low-income defendants and contributes to the mass detention of African-American youth.
How the deposit works
A person charged with a crime usually receives a bond hearing before a judge. The amount of bail is at the discretion of the judge. A judge may deny bail altogether or place it at an astronomical level if the defendant is charged with a violent crime or appears likely to be a flight risk.
Judges generally have broad latitude in assigning the number of guarantees, and typical amounts vary by jurisdiction. A defendant charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor can see $500 bail. The cost of crime has a high bond, with $20,000 or more not uncommon.
The commercial bonding system exists only in the United States and the Philippines.
Once the bail amount is established, the defendant’s choice is to remain in prison until the charges are settled at trial, arrange bail, or pay the bail amount in full until the case is resolved. Ultimately, courts in some jurisdictions accept title to a home or other value security, not cash.
Bail bonds, also called bail bonds, provide a written agreement to the criminal court to pay bail in full if the defendants whose charges they warrant do not appear on the date of their trial.
Surety bondmen usually charge 10% of the collateral amount upfront in exchange for their services and may charge additional fees. Some states have limited the 8% amount charged.
The agent may also request a statement of solvency or may ask the defendant to provide security in kind or securities. Surety bondmen generally receive the most valuable properties, including cars, jewelry, and houses, as well as stocks and bonds.
Once the bond or bail is delivered, the defendant is released until trial.
Disadvantages of the collateral bond system
The bail system has become part of a broader debate about mass incarceration, especially young African-Americans, in the United States.
The bail system is regarded by many, even in the legal profession, as discriminatory, as it requires low-income defendants to remain in prison or accumulate 10% cash costs and the remainder of the bail guarantee, even before being tried for any offense. PrisonPolicy.org said about 536,000 people are being held in jail in the United States because they can’t afford bail or guarantor services.
Four states — Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon and Wisconsin — have banned bail bonds and instead require a 10% deposit on bail amounts to be filed in court. In 2018, California voted to remove the cash bond requirement from its court system.
Suppose Melissa, a New Yorker, has broken the law and the court has set her bail at $25,000. Although Melissa didn’t want to stay in jail while her court case was reviewed, she didn’t have $25,000 in cash. Therefore, Melissa decided to contact the bailiff to apply for bail.
In exchange for his services, the guarantor is paid 10% of the guarantee, or $ 2, 500. For the remaining $22,500, the guarantor gets the equivalent amount of collateral from Melissa or someone in her family. Melissa met court requirements and appeared for her trial date, so she received $22,500 bail at the end of the trial, $2,500 less than she would have received if she had paid bail herself.
What can be used as collateral for bonds?
Surety bondmen accept various forms of collateral, including real estate, automobiles, credit cards, stocks, bonds, and jewelry.
What happens if I can’t pay the deposit?
Unfortunately, if you can’t afford bail, you’ll most likely remain in jail until your case is resolved.
Will I get my security deposit back?
It depends. In New York, for example, bail will be refunded at the end of your case if you make all your court appearances. If you are found not guilty or if your case is dismissed, you will be refunded 100% of the security deposit. However, if found guilty, you will be refunded minus the 3% fee. 1 In addition, you must make all of your court appearances or you may lose your bail.