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County Bail Bonds FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Bail?

In the criminal justice system, bail exists to give an accused person, also called a defendant, a chance to be released from jail before their trial. This allows them to return to work, family, and life as they prepare for their defense. However, this release isn’t free. To ensure they show up for court dates, the defendant or someone on their behalf must provide a guarantee, typically in the form of money, property, or a bail bond. The Eighth Amendment to the US Constitution even protects your right to a reasonable bail amount, preventing excessive financial burdens that could unfairly keep someone jailed while they await trial.

How much does it cost?

Every situation is unique. To get help regarding your specific case, please contact us today.

What is a Bail Bond and how does it work?

A bail bond is like a security deposit for the court. It guarantees that a defendant shows up for all their court hearings. A bail bondsman, which is a licensed company, will post the bail amount with the court on the defendant’s behalf. There’s a fee involved, typically around 10% of the total bail, but if the defendant shows up for court, they get most of their money back (minus the fee). The bail service provider must charge the premium rate that it has filed with the Department of Insurance and the premium is not refundable once the defendant is released.

What’s the difference between a Bail Bond & a Premium?
  • Bail bond: This is the total guaranteed amount of money that a bail bondsman puts up on behalf of the defendant. It acts as a financial assurance to the court that the defendant will appear for all court hearings. Think of it like the full amount due on a loan.
  • Premium: This is the fee charged by the bail bondsman for their service. It’s a percentage (usually around 10%) of the total bail amount. It’s essentially the cost of borrowing the bail money from the bondsman. This fee is non-refundable, regardless of whether the defendant shows up for court.
Is the Premium refundable?
The defendant and any co-signer(s) are responsible to the bail service provider for the premium and any fees or additional expenses incurred by the bail service provider on their behalf.

These monies are earned at the time the defendant is released from custody; therefore, it is not subject to return. This is the case even if the defendant is found innocent, the case is dismissed, or the defendant is placed back into custody for another offense.

Who is a Co-Signer / Guarantor?
A co-signer/guarantor is the person(s) willing to be responsible for the defendant while they are out on bail and who co-assumes financial responsibility, including guarantee of the full bail bond amount.
What is Reinstatement?
Missing a court date can be stressful, but bail bond reinstatement might help. This process involves working with your bail bondsman to convince the judge to lift the arrest warrant (bench warrant) issued for skipping court. If successful, the court will reinstate your bail bond and give you a new court date. There may be additional fees involved, but reinstatement allows you to get back on track with your case. Remember, a judge’s approval is necessary for reinstatement, so consulting your bail bondsman for specific guidance is recommended.
What is a Summary Judgement?
There can be consequences for missing a court date after your bail bond has been posted. If you don’t show up and neither you nor your bail bondsman can return you to custody within a certain timeframe, the court may issue a summary judgment. This means the judge essentially declares the bail bond forfeited. Unfortunately, at that point, you’ll be responsible for paying the full bail amount to the court.
Who can post bail for me?
  • Do it Yourself: If you have the money available, you can pay the full bail amount directly to the court. This option gives you the most control over the process.
  • Find a Friend or Family Member: Someone you trust over 18 years old can post bail on your behalf. They become responsible for making sure you show up for court dates.
  • Use a Bail Bondsman: These professionals will cover your bail amount for a fee (usually 10% of the bail). They take on the responsibility of ensuring your court appearances. This can be a good option if you can’t afford the full bail yourself, but remember the fee is non-refundable.
What is Safe Surrender?

In New Jersey, we offer a “safe surrender” service for individuals who have missed their court dates or have outstanding warrants so they can voluntarily surrender themselves to authorities in a safe and controlled manner, typically facilitated by the bail bondsman. This service is designed to help individuals resolve their legal issues in a responsible manner while minimizing the risk of arrest in public or at their home or workplace.