Understanding Bail Bonds in Orlando

The courts use bail bonds, also known as surety bonds, to ease some of the financial burdens on defendants. Defendants make a financial promise in the form of a bail bond to appear in court. This process can confuse people, so most licensed bail agents are available any time, day or night, to speak with you about your needs and give you additional information.

Overview of the Bail Bond Process

When you call a bail bond company, they will ask you general information about the case, including custody location, charges, residence and employment. The agency considers a variety of factors when determining the risk of granting a bail bond. The client needs to sign legal documents in order to work with a bail bond agency. We can quickly fax or email them to you, or send a licensed bail bond agent directly to the client. Once the client signs the paperwork and we review it, the agent will pay the bond so the defendant can be released. This process takes between one and two hours after the holding facility has completed arrest and booking. The cost to clients is set by law at 10 percent of the bail amount.

The Responsibility of Family and Friends

The bail bond company supervises those on release as a promise to the courts that they will appear as directed. The agent will go find a person who fails to appear in court or "skips bail." Money from family or friends put up as collateral helps ensure the defendant's appearance. If you sign your name to guarantee a person's appearance in court, you are responsible to help find the defendant.

Processing at Jail

During booking, jail personnel take fingerprints, search criminal records and check for warrants. The person is searched for illegal contraband, such as weapons or drugs. Bail is set. Their personal effects are held by the facility until their release. They are permitted to make a phone call. Booking and processing the defendant can take from one to several hours, depending on the size and busyness of the facility.

Ways a Defendant Can be Released from Jail

The courts can release people in one of five ways, including a bail bond. Own recognizance means that the defendant is released based on their own good name. These individuals usually have committed misdemeanors. A property bond involves putting property up as collateral with the courts. This requires equity in the property and can take several weeks to process. If a defendant does not comply with court orders, the courts will keep the property. Defendants can also pay a full cash bail. The courts need to confirm that the defendant has obtained the money legally. Citation release, such as a traffic ticket, assigns a court date to the person.

Release from Custody

No matter which of the five methods you use for a release from jail, it takes anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to update the jail computer, gather personal effects, call up the defendant and review court paperwork.

The Umansky Law Firm has many clients that use bonds at the beginning of their criminal justice process. Please call us if you have any questions, or need help obtaining a bond for a loved one or close friend.

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