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4 Movie Myths About Posting Bail

Movies and television shows often fall into the same patterns when highlighting a variety of jail processes. The information and assumptions people make from fictional programming often sets unrealistic expectations for the reality of a situation.

When movies create scenes with bail and bail bonds processes, the point isn’t to misinform the viewer but to help move the story forward and create compelling drama. Understanding the real-life circumstances will help people get a better grasp on various expectations when posting bail.

Learn fact from fiction with a breakdown of four different movie myths about posting bail.

1. The Judge Always Sets Bail

In many movies, you will witness a dramatic court scene where the judge sets a huge bail amount and everyone in the courtroom has a shocked reaction. However, things aren’t exactly like that in real life.

During a bail hearing, the sole decision is usually not up to the judge. The judge will typically follow set guidelines and standards based on the crime committed. In some cases, the crime itself will determine the bail, but many judges go by a set algorithm for crimes.

For example, the bail may be based on the crime itself, the criminal history of the arrested party, and the age of the person arrested. Also, movies tend to be dramatic when the bail amounts are stated. In various movies and TV shows, you may hear amounts in the millions.

Well, the average bail for most crimes is in the hundreds or thousands. Anything in the millions would involve very major crimes and is not a common bail amount. Smaller misdemeanor crimes may be in the low hundreds depending on the actual crime.

The bail hearing itself is not a big spectacle either, unless it is a major crime or news coverage is involved. Many inmates have the option to attend a bail hearing alone and choose not to have lawyers at this point in the process.

2. The Bail Is Denied

Another dramatic twist in the movies? Characters who get denied bail and are forced to spend time behind bars before a court case takes place. Once again, someone getting denied bail is another rare circumstance.

If bail was denied, a precedent often exists of a person skipping bail before or other factors that make a person a flight risk. Smaller crimes are usually not a factor, and you will rarely get denied bail if the bail hearing is for your first arrest.

3. You Only Get One Phone Call

To help heighten the drama of being in jail, many characters feel isolated with a cinematic policy known as the one phone call situation. Turns out, you can actually make as many phone calls as needed, but the person on the other end of the line must pay the collect call charges to keep the communication lines open.

Once you’ve been arrested, you do not have to make a decision to talk to either a bail bonds company or your loved ones. You have the option to make multiple calls. When you get into contact with a bail bonds company, they will accept your collect call and discuss your bail bond needs over the phone.

So, once you are arrested, you have no need to worry about the single phone call to make. A loved one may even purchase minutes for your calls so the other party does not need to accept charges with every call.

4. The Bail Means Absolute Freedom

In a lot of movies, when a person has posted bail, they seem to live their life freely like they just beat all the charges they once had. The drama of the courtroom has now transitioned into a whole other story thread.

The freedom that comes with posting bail is not the same in real life. In real life, you have multiple court hearings to attend, and you must show up for them every time. The bail may get you out of jail, but that does not mean you will not get sentenced once the full case makes its way through the court system.

When you post bail through a bail bond service, you may also have a co-signer on your bail bond. The person who co-signs the bail bond is responsible for your actions and ensuring you do not skip out on the bail.

Often, collateral is associated with a bail bond agreement, including anything from houses to cars. A bail bonds company has the ability to supply you with all the information you need to ensure your bail does not forfeit and you follow proper procedures to get through the whole court process.

In short, do not believe everything you see in movies and on television. The process is very different from the fictionalized films, which often focus on the drama and conflict rather than true procedure.

For more information on posting bail, contact us at Lets Bail Bonds. We have years of experience and can answer any questions you may have about the whole process.

Seven Questions to ask a Potential Bail Bond Company

You hope that you never need to use a bond company. But if you do, there are a few things that you should ask them to make sure that you have the right one company for your needs. Below are seven questions that you can ask to help you get a good idea about whether a bond company is the right one.

How much do you charge?

The rate that the company is going to charge will be legally mandated from state to state. The company is going to charge you anywhere from 8 to 15% of the total amount of bail based on the state that you’re in. Make sure you’re cautious of any company offers for a good rates. It might mean they’re not operating legally and they’re not a company that’s reputable.

How quickly will you be able to get a person released?

The company is only able to control paperwork and the part of the release process that they take part in . The majority of bondsman will have pretty accurate time frames about when a defendant will be able to be released. Getting a person released from jail is often an unpredictable and slow process, so you want to be patient while waiting. The first thing the jail is going to be concerned about is safety.

What’s the process for a bail bond?

Professional companies should have no problem explaining the procedure effortlessly. Below is basically the way that the process will work:
The company is going to collect some general and basic information about the situation so that they can ask assess the bond’s risk factor. An example would be where the person is being held, their charges, the length of time they’ve lived where their current residence is, if they’re employed and where.

The customer will have to arrange payment and complete the bond documents so that the bail bond application, receipt and indemnity agreement are included.

The company will then post bail, and the defendant is going to be released.

Is your company licensed?

For example, Montana bondsman receives their licenses through Montana’s department of insurance. They’re also the only ones that are permitted legally for negotiating and posting bond. You want to make sure that you were only dealing with companies who have valid and current licenses and they’re in good standing. Ask to see the license and identification of the bail agent before giving them money and completing your transaction.

Where are you located?

Sometimes, a bondsman isn’t in the state where you live. When this happens, it might cost you a lot more money because of the posting fee, and that’s the fee when the bondsman may need to pay another one to post your bail. To expedite the processes and make sure you’re not paying anything extra, find a guarantor that’s within a distance that’s reasonable from the jail that is holding the person.

What’s the indemnitor’s responsibilities?

The Indemnitor is the person who bails a person out of jail, accepting the full responsibility that they are going to show up to their court date. If the person doesn’t appear, the indemnitor will be responsible for helping the bondsman find them. If they aren’t able to be found, the indemnitor has to pay the full bail amount. Most of the issues with bail bonds can be handled using a simple phone call.

What happens if the person doesn’t come to the court case?

This question can vary between bond companies, but the process is pretty much the same. There will be a warrant issued for their arrest, and they’re going to show up in the police bulletins as being a fugitive. The company is going to try locating the defendant through calling their home, their work, their references and instructing them to go to their hearing. If a defendant isn’t able to be located, the company might hire one of the bounty hunters for locating and arresting them.

Keep in mind that this process for a bail bond is going to vary between states. But when you understand these fundamental questions that you should ask a potential bond company, it will help you with making the right decision on which companies to choose to help you through a tough time in your life.

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