What is a Bond?
A bond is a method used to be released awaiting trial for criminal charges from custody of a law enforcement agency. The defendant executes documents and pays a sum of money, determined by the courts, to promise to appear for all court dates. There are 6 ways to post a bond. Below you will find the benefit of each of the six types:
- Surety (Bondsman) Bond
A surety bond, also called bail bond, must be posted by a bondsman who is licensed in the State of Missouri. A surety bond is useful when the defendant can’t afford to pay the entire bond at once. This type of method requires the bail bond agency pledging to pay the full value of the bond if the defendant does not appear in court. In return, the defendant and a family member or relative promises to pay the bail bond agency 10% of the bond, also called premium, and signing various documents. In some instances, collateral is required.The purpose of a 3rd party (indemnitor or co-signer) being involved is to compel the defendant to appear in court, since the bail bond agency will hold the co-signer liable for the premium and/or entire bond. In the event that the defendant does not appear in court, the court issues a “failure to appear” and the defendant will be brought back to court by the bail bond agency to stand trial.When dealing with a bondsman, be aware that the industry is like any other business. Payment Bail Bonds requests our clients to ask to the agent’s license, identification and a business card. Bail bond agent’s usually require 10% and 5% upfront with the remaining 5% paid over a period of time. Ask the agent to explain the terms and conditions of the agreement and it is Missouri law that the agent must provide a receipt for the initial down payment and anytime you request one. It is important to make sure you only have an arrangement that fits in your budget.Make sure that the agent is available during reasonable times, if the agent is not available leave a message and make sure the agent returns the call within 4 hours. Agents have invested a lot of time and effort in establishing a name for them self and the company, so it would mean that the agent is tied up in court or doing a bond. If the agent is not reachable, you can feel free to call the office at 636-797-8222 at anytime.
- Recognizance Bond
Recognizance bond is given when the judge chooses to release the defendant on his word that he will appear in court. Recognizance bonds are usually only given when the charge involves a minor or non-violent crime and if the defendant is not considered to be a flight risk.
- Property Bond
Property bond requires the defendant to use real estate to post a bond. Defendant can use his or her or any other party’s property to post bond. The party posting the bond has to meet the requirements to post the bond: Document to show who owns the property, last years paid tax receipt and everyone listed on the the tax receipt must be present. There are some special requirements each county requests to post property bonds, so you must contact that bonding institution before proceeding. If the defendant does not appear in court, the court can foreclose on the property to recover the forfeited bond amount.
- Cash Bond
Cash bond requires you to make the bond entirely in form of cash, money order or cashier’s check. Some jails will except credit cards or debit cards. After the case is closed, you could be refunded the money less than court fees and restitution. The money will go to the defendant and never to the posting party. You should never post a bond for someone unless you know for a fact you can recover your money.
- 10% Bond – Cash Only
10% bonds are bonds that the courts have given permission to post 10% of the bond to be released. Sometimes this is not the best option because it has holds the same weight as the cash option holds. If you post the bond, it doesn’t always mean you will recieve that amount back. You can also be revoked and lose all of the money, and have to start over at the beginning.
- Appearance Bond
Appearance bond allows you to post bond for a person who is being held for up to 24 hours, usually for questioning. Usually you have to let the bonding officer know and they will call the duty judge and set an amount. It can be cash, property or any type of bond unless other requirements are stated by the judge.