New York State Bail & Bonds Explained: Part III

We focused our last two bail and bonds posts on explaining how bail and bond is decided as well as the differences between the two. We’ll wrap up our discussion with the steps you’ll need to take to secure your bond if you’re unable to pay the cash bail amount.

Step One: Contact a reputable bail bondsman

In order to be released from jail, you, a friend, or a relative will need to contact a reputable bail bondsman. A list of bondsmen may be acquired either from the jail or jail ministries. An online search will also turn up local listings.

Step Two: Meet with the bail bondsman

Bail bondsmen charge approximately 10% of the total bond required to release the incarcerated person from jail (eg: A $5,000 bond will require a payment of approximately $500). The remaining portion will be guaranteed by an asset with sufficient equity to cover the remaining portion of the bond. Whoever will be pyaing the bondsman will need to meet with them to prove ownership of the asset, sign any required documents, and confirm who the incarcerated person is and where they are being held. The bail bondsman then pays the court a portion of the required bond amount with the guarantee the rest will be paid should the defendant not show for a required court appearance. It is important to note that unlike posting cash bail, you will not recover any payment made to the bail bondsman. It is like buying an insurance policy and the amount you pay is the premium which you do not get back.

Step Three: Show up to court

Once the bail bondsman has contacted the court and paid the bond, you will be released from jail but with the requirement that you show up to your next court date. Should you not show, an arrest warrant may be issued for you by the court and the bail bondsman may be allowed to contract a bounty hunter to find and bring you to the court so they may recover the money paid under the bond. They may sue for any money forfeited due to your failure to show and you could be charged with bail jumping.

That wraps up our final post for bail and bonds. If someone you know is currently incarcerated and is in need of legal assistance, please contact us. We can recommend a bail bondsman to help as well as offer legal services, if needed.