Following an arrest for a crime, an appearance bond may be set. Bail is the monetary amount that serves as a promise or a guarantee that the defendant will appear in court at ALL court dates until a case is complete. This fee is referred to as the PREMIUM. The premium is based on a percentage (ours is typically 10%), of the face value of the bond. If he or she fails to appear at court, the bondsman will have to pay the entire bond. In turn, the bondsman will seek to recover those damages from the co-signer. If the defendant appears in court as scheduled, there will be no other money owed the bondsman. If the defendant is captured, other fees and repercussions will be incurred. Even if the court dismisses the case, the bondsman keeps the bail premium.
NLBB Bail Bonds has chosen to be a Surety Bail Bonds company. Surety bail is the most common type of release in Oklahoma. There are other types of bondsmen such as: Cash bail, property bail, and personal recognizance.
Misdemeanors are generally classified as crimes that can carry up to 1 year in jail. If you are a first time offender a misdemeanor conviction rarely result in jail time. Typically, a misdemeanor case will require two to three court appearances. lasting around three months.
Felonies are a more serious crime. All felonies can result in jail time, so a good attorney is very important. There is nothing typical about a felony case. They may settle quickly if the attorney can negotiate or even have it dismissed. Others may go on a year or more and require several court appearances.
The cosigner for the defendant becomes the indemnitor. Meaning if the defendant doesn't uphold the bond agreement by making all of his or her court appearances, the cosigner/indemnitor will be obligated to pay the full face value of the bond and possibly other legal fees and court costs. A cosigner will often have to put up collateral, such as property deeds, stock, items of value, or even a vehicle, to cover the full bond in case the defendant fails to appear in court. The bondsman will use this collateral to pay the court the existing balance.
To sum it up, the indemnitor signs a deal assuring the bondsman the defendant will comply with court dates and accepts financial responsibility. The bondsman assures the court the defendant will comply and this is backed up by the indemnitor.
Collateral is something of value needed to cover the cost of the full amount of the bond if the defendant does not show up for court. Collateral is held by the bondsman until the court case is closed. Bail agents require collateral to reduce their risk in the event the defendant fails to appear. Collateral is used only to secure the bond. All collateral will be returned after the bond is exonerated.
DO NOT RESIST ARREST - If you to take a fight or flight response, fight that urge to resist arrest. If you choose to resist arrest, additional charges will be added to your case. It never hurts to do your best to be cooperative and polite.
DO NOT MAKE ADMISSIONS WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY - Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. It is always a good idea to speak with a lawyer before giving any statement to officials.
DO NOT FAIL TO SURRENDER ON A WARRANT- The best way to handle a warrant for your arrest is to call a bondsman and allow them to do a warrant surrender for you. Bond paperwork can be done before the surrender and save time. If prepared, most of the time a walk-thru can be done. In and out.
MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE AFTER BEING RELEASED:
MISSING COURT - Missing court is the most regrettable mistake a defendant can make. Even the innocent must make their court appearances to clear their name. If you do not show up for court a warrant will be issued for your arrest and not long after you will be placed on the NCIC data base.
WAITING TO HIRE A LAWYER - Hiring an attorney is extremely important. The sooner you get an attorney involved, the better your chances for a good outcome.
COMMITTING ANOTHER CRIME - Clearly, it's a terrible idea to commit another offense. You risk arrest and a subsequent arrest will void your current bond.
Nobody plans to go to jail and bail is not often cheap. Some clients cannot afford the full amount up front. Obviously people cannot work while they are sitting in jail, nor can they effectively prepare for trial. With a large enough down payment many bail bonds companies will be willing to work with you and allow you to finance your bail. We do offer payment arrangements to better serve our NLBB clients. Most of the time this works out well for everyone. However, it's important to remember, missed payments can often result in returning to jail. In the event that a payment might be late, always contact or visit your bondsman as soon as possible.
It is never a good idea to miss court. Your court date is not optional, or at your convenience. A judge INSISTS that you be there and it makes them extremely unhappy when you don't show or even show up late. We understand sometimes stuff happens. If you have a situation that is uncontrollable, CALL YOUR BONDSMAN IMMEDIATELY!
ARE THERE ANY GOOD REASONS TO MISS COURT?
Sure there are! Sometimes things happen that are beyond our control, but most can be prevented and that is how a judge will see it. While NEVER MISSING COURT is our primary goal, we understand that we are all only human. AGAIN, NO MATTER THE ISSUE, CALL YOUR BONDSMAN IMMEDIATELY!
Judges may not agree that these are necessarily "good" reasons to miss court. Things like alarm clock issues and car trouble are used and abused by defendants every day. Don't make excuses and NEVER try to lie to a judge. Believe me, they have heard it all.
REALLY BAD REASONS TO MISS COURT
This list goes on and on, but you get the gist.
"My attorney told me"
Attorneys sometimes say things like, "Don't worry about it", "I'll get it passed" etc. You may have the best and most respected attorney around, but don't EVER miss an appointment between you and your judge! Double or even triple check to make 100% sure that you're case has been passed or dismissed. Call your bondsman, call your attorney, and call the court clerk and be absolutely positive you aren't required to show. That being said, its not a bad idea to show up anyway, just in case. Communication is key.
Scared will never go away by running. If you are scared, ask questions. Stay positive. Do all you can to demonstrate responsibility, care and respect. Judges like that. When your actions take you down a scary and uncertain path, ask questions and prepare. Be accountable, deal with it, learn from it, put it behind you, and move forward with your life. This is the ONLY way to live in peace instead of in fear.
We may not have a degree in criminal justice or the ability to even offer legal advice, but we can be supportive and offer encouraging advice for life.
When a defendant fails to appear in court a forfeiture occurs. The judge will issue a warrant and an order upon the surety and bail bondsman to present the total value of the bond, in cash, to the court within a short time frame. Bond forfeitures are "worst case scenarios" for all parties involved in a bond agreement. If a forfeiture occurs, it is very important that the defendant is presented quickly to the court so the judge can set the forfeiture aside. In the event that the defendant runs or hides, the bail bond company will employ a bail enforcer (bounty hunter) to recover he defendant and surrender them to the appropriate jurisdiction.
A bounty hunter is a skilled professional who is hired by a bail bondsman to find and capture a fugitive in exchange for a monetary reward. Many times the bondsman themselves is a bounty hunter. The "bounty" is typically a percentage of the bail. They are closely monitored by state insurance departments and other licensing authorities.
Gone are the days of "Dead or Alive", but none the less, bounty hunters take their role seriously and will investigate, research, interview, and stake out until their fugitives have been caught. Individuals in this profession usually have a distinct set of qualities, including resourcefulness, intelligence, perseverance, and surprisingly great contacts. Bounty hunters are often former police officers or private investigators and are educated in the field of criminal justice and/or law enforcement and have training in self-defense, firearms and weapons. Bounty hunters are NOT required to have a search warrant to enter a home.
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