What Are Bail Bonds and Why Would You Need One?

If you’ve never needed to post bail before, congratulations. If you are a law abiding citizen who has never been arrested, the concept of bail bonds in Honolulu, Hawaii, is probably somewhat foreign to you. You’ve seen the television shows and you know that in order to get out of jail, a person sometimes must post bail, but what is bail or a bail bond, and how does one go about getting it?

Released on Your Own Recognizance

Often, those who have been arrested for a non-violent or minor crime will be allowed to leave the jail on condition that they return to court on the assigned date. This is called being released on your own recognizance, or OR. Depending on the nature of the crime you have been accused of committing and how likely the judge thinks you are to return for your court date (flight risk), the judge will set a bail amount. After posting paying the bail, you will be released from jail.

Bail Bond Agents

It is possible to pay the entire cost of the bail amount in cash. Cash payments require a verification of funds to make sure you are using money that has been legally obtained. In other cases, where the bail is too big for your bank account, you can secure the services of a bail bond agent. These people look at your situation and determine your ability to pay the fee and how much of a flight risk you are in deciding whether or not to extend a bail bond to you. Once they decide to work with you, your bail will be paid and you will be charged a certain percentage based on your state. For some states, such as California, bail payment is set at 10% of the total bail amount. In other states, such as Hawaii, there is no maximum percentage set; you will need to negotiate with the bond agent. In addition, you will probably need to produce some sort of collateral on the bail bond to ensure that you will show up on your appointed court date (when the bail amount will be returned to the bond agent). Some bond agents offer payment options that do not include collateral.

Show Up For Your Court Date

Once you are out, your bail agent will be very concerned that you show up for your appointed court date. Failure to show means that the bail amount is forfeited, and the bail agent then stands to lose the money they risked on you. This means they will come after you for the collateral or for the full payment as well as to make sure you end up in court. The people assigned to find you if you go missing are called bounty hunters. When you show up in court on the right day and time, your bond agent will retrieve the bail money he paid on you and will expect you to pay your fee. Once the fee is collected, your relationship with the bail bond agent is terminated, and hopefully you’ll never have reason to call him again. However, if you ever find yourself in a position of needing bail bonds in Honolulu, Hawaii, this short tutorial should help you understand who to call and how the system of making bail works.

Filed under General Law Topics by Terry

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