If you’re looking to post bail for a friend or loved one, you’ll need to make sure that you either have the cash or the services of a bail bond company that can help you post bail. In Florida, bail bonds are available to anyone who can’t pay bail on their own and the process usually takes only a day or two to complete. This depends on the courts and the legal system, but as part of the right to a speedy trial, defendants are granted the right to quick bail hearings, so they don’t sit in jail unnecessarily.
The bail process is similar to other states and is governed by the Florida Department of Insurance. Here’s what you need to know.
The Bail Hearing
The amount set for bail is decided at a bail hearing, which usually happens within 48-72 hours of arrest, and often much sooner. The severity of the crime, as well as the existing or previous record of the arrestee, will both impact bail amounts (and in some cases, whether bail is permitted at all).
The judge will announce the amount of the bail. At that time, you will have the option to pay the bail or to make arrangements with a Florida based bail bonds company that understands how to deal with bail bonds Florida courts set.
Do I Have to Pay the Bail in Full?
This is the entire point of bail bonds—most people don’t have the means to pay their bail amount in full. Fortunately, a bail bond agency will be able to post bail on your behalf, and instead of paying the full amount, you’ll pay just 10-15% of the total bail as a fee to the agency. They will be responsible for giving the bail bond, or promise to pay, to the court on your behalf.
If the amount set seems too high or too low, the court or attorneys may discuss whether the bail should be increased or decreased, based on the circumstances of the case. Someone with a more serious criminal charge will have a higher bail amount than someone with a minor crime.
The only time you will be responsible for paying the full bail is if you skip out on your bail bond and the court revokes your bond.
What Else Should I Know?
As mentioned, the state of Florida manages all bail bonds through the Department of Insurance. You can find a full list of regulations and guidelines on their site, as well as insight into the financial details of the bail process, hiring a bail agent, and more. The Florida criminal justice system takes the bail process seriously, as do bail agents. Anyone who is not planning to keep up their end of the bargain shouldn’t even apply for a bail bond. Fortunately, bail agents are pretty good about knowing how to read people and choose which defendants will show up in court.
When it comes to bail bonds Florida agents offer, you should have no trouble finding what you need. There are bonds available in all sizes and it will be much easier to post bail when you have these agents on your side. Unless you’ve got access to large amounts of cash, a bail bond might be the only option.
Bail Bonds in Florida Make the Process Less Stressful
Ultimately, this is designed to make the legal process less of a struggle for people. Those who can’t put their lives on hold or who don’t want to sit in jail for weeks, or even months, until their trial, will benefit greatly from bail bonds when they work with reputable Florida bail agents. The process is simple, streamlined, and most people will be released within 24 hours after reaching out to a bail bonds agent.
You may still have to pay court costs and other fees as a part of your sentence. The bail bond only covers the actual bail involved in your case. No matter what kind of criminal charge you are facing, get a hold of a reputable agency for bail bonds in Florida and the entire process will be much smoother and less stressful.