Getting arrested is a harrowing experience, especially if you are innocent. Suspects are typically read their Miranda rights, handcuffed, and taken to jail. After being processed, photographed, and fingerprinted, the suspect becomes a prisoner. Depending on the seriousness of the alleged liability, the accused may be offered immediate bail.
If the offense is not a minor one, the defender will be held in custody until he is brought before a judge at a bail hearing. At the hearing, the judge will determine whether or not the defendant is eligible for release, and if so, how much he should pay. If the accused can afford the fee, he can get out of jail that very day. Because the fee for a serious liability is often quite high, a defensive or his loved ones may be forced to obtain bail bonds.
What Are They?
Bail bonds are a kind of insurance policy that is taken out to ensure that the defensive shows up for his court date. Since most people that are accused of a crime come to court on the scheduled date at the scheduled time, bonding out is a fairly common practice. There are even businesses that lend people money to cover these costs.
What's In It For Them?
Like any institution that lends money out, those who deal in bail bonds charge interest rates for the service. These rates often depend on the size of the loan and the criminal history of the accused. When a defensive is deemed a possible flight risk and is still granted bail, it may be hard for him to secure a loan from a bondsman. In the overwhelming majority of cases, however, a bond is posted at the fairly reasonable rate of 10 percent.
If a bondsman is concerned that the defensive may run or "jump" bail, he may ask for collateral. He does this because if his client fails to show up, the court will hold the bondsman financially liable, ie, he will lose the bond he posted after a certain number of days. When the loan is a large one and it is forfeited, the bondsman could put his business in jeopardy.
To ensure that he does not lose his money, the bondsman employs bounty hunters. It is the job of these freelance professionals to track down fugitives who have skipped their court date. If the bounty hunter gets his hands on the fugitive before the cops do, he will receive a percentage of the bond. But if the authorities catch him first, the bounty hunter goes home empty-handed. Either way, the bondsman wins.
Once the criminal is brought to justice, the bondsman gets his money back along with the interest payment, giving him a small profit on the transaction – especially if the police cached his client and he did not have to pay a bounty hunter. But because margins are often razor thin, most bondsmen make money on sheer volume of business, which often means bailing out minor or petty criminal and taking collateral.
Although there is certainly more to it than that, this brief article should provide you with a basic understanding of how to work works.