July 3, 2022

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Fast Facts About Cash Bail

The bail system in United States courts provides a way for defendants to secure their freedom between the time of arrest and their court dates. However, because so many defendants do not have the financial means to pay high cash bail amounts, most depend upon bail bonds Harrisburg PA.

How Does Cash Bail Work?

The amount of cash bail will be decided by a judge. The more serious the offense, the higher bail is typically set. It is also possible for a judge to deny bail entirely, meaning that the arrested person must remain in custody throughout his or her court proceedings. This sometimes happens in cases where a judge believes the defendant to be a danger to the community or at serious risk of fleeing the jurisdiction.

Bail is posted as a means of insurance, with the money serving as a sort of collateral, which will be kept by the court if the defendant does not show up for scheduled court proceedings.

What Does it Mean to be Remanded to Custody?

A defendant who is remanded to custody is given back to the custody of the court. This can happen when an individual breaks the terms of his or her bail. The most common example of this would be a failure to show up for a scheduled court appearance. If a judge withdraws bail, the defendant must be held in jail through the conclusion of the case.

What Happens When a Defendant Cannot Afford Bail?

Cash bail prices can be very high, even in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. For this reason, the majority of defendants do not post the total amount in cash. There are two other options. The first one is to appeal to the court to accept collateral in exchange for the bail. A property or business, for example, could be offered instead. However, not all courts accept such collateral.

What Does a Bail Bondsman Do?

The other option is to secure the services of a bail bondsman, who will issue a surety bond to the court on your behalf. The typical fee for this service is 10% of the total cost of bail. For example, if your bail was set at $50,000, you would pay the bondsman $5,000 and then put up collateral for the rest of the amount. This collateral is returned upon completion of the terms of bail, while the bondsman retains the original payment as a fee for his services.