What is Bail and How does it Work in Memphis TN?

Not to be confused with the word “bond”, bail is basically the total amount of money that a person must deposit with the court in order to remain free from jail until his or her case is over.  A bail bond premium is the amount of money paid to a bondsman for the defendants release from jail after arrest in lieu of depositing the entire amount of the bail bond with the court.  The bond is an agreement between the courts and the bail bond company that obligates the bail bond company to ensure the defendant’s appearance in court.

While the process of bail may sound scary, hopefully by the end of this article, you and your loved ones will have a better understanding of what bail is and how it works so that the both of you can pick the right bonding company in memphis tn and save a lot of headaches (and heartaches) in the long run.

While some 24 hour bonding companies in memphis might skim through the whole explanation of the bail process, at United Bonding Company, we make it our priority to be one of the memphis bonding companies to ensure that you understand the whole process beforehand. We also are the premier memphis bonding company that is licensed to write bonds for the Shelby County Juvenile Court.  

When you or a loved one is arrested in Memphis, Tennessee or in any town in the surrounding Shelby County, Tipton County or Fayette County area, the first thing that you might ask yourself is, “What is bail and how does it work?”

Let’s start from the beginning.

When a person gets arrested (being seized or taken into custody after committing a crime) and booked (having made an official record of the name of the person including other details pertinent to the arrest) for committing a crime (an activity that is considered illegal and/or wrong according to the laws of the state and/or federal government) he or she must wait either in jail or at a detention center (the place where an arresting officer takes you to for breaking the law) until his or her court date (the date, place, and time that the judge has set for you to appear before the court).

Prior to his or her court date, the defendant (the person who is committed of performing a crime) is taken to a bail hearing (a court process in which a judge will determine whether or not to allow a defendant to post bail and be released from jail for the duration of his or her trial) where the judge (the person who determines what will happen to the defendant) reads aloud the charges (the accusations made that brought the defendant to jail in the first place) and sets the bail amount (the amount of money that the person would need in order to get out of jail while his or her case is active).

If the defendant cannot afford to post the bail, then he or she can either remain in jail until his or her final court date or have a close friend or relative pay the bail bond premium and become a co-signer or indemnitor (a person who agrees to take responsibility for payment if the defendant fails to follow the bail bond agreement).  

The defendant and/or co-signer would then hire a professional bondsman (any person, firm, partnership or corporation, engaged for profit in the business of furnishing bail, making bonds or entering into undertakings, as surety, in criminal proceedings, or for the appearance of persons charged with any criminal offense or violation of law or ordinance punishable by fine, imprisonment or death, before any of the courts of this state, including municipal courts or securing the payment of fines, judgments or damages imposed and of costs assessed by those courts upon preliminary or final disposition thereof).  

After hiring a Bail Agent, the defendant’s co-signer will give the agent the full name of the person in jail, as well as their booking number (a number used to identify the defendant while he or she is in jail)  and the arrest location (where the defendant was taken to when they were arrested or detained).  

Upon receiving this information, the Bail Agent will then meet with the relative/friend to discuss the paperwork and agreement to post the bond (a method that releases the defendant from jail and ensures that the defendant shows up to court on his or her court date).

During this time, the bail agent would then ask a person who has come to the bail bond company on behalf of the defendant to either pay the bond premium (a fraction of the total bail amount (usually ten to fifteen percent) and possibly have the person sign over collateral (a type of security that consists of real estate or some other asset of value).

Here at United Bonding Company, the bond premium is typically 10% of the bond, plus a $25 surcharge and $12 bail tax that are added onto this fee as adhered to according to Tennessee Code Annotated 40-11-316 (a law that states the maximum bail bond premium in the State of Tennessee). So if the overall cost of the premium sounds too high for your cosigner’s budget, don’t worry! In most cases we will be able to work with your cosigner to take a smaller down payment. After that, we will finance the rest of the bail bond premium in installment payments.  

With the exception of personal and company checks, we at United Bonding Company accept just about every from of payment.

Once the bond has been posted by the bail agent and everything related to it has been paid, the defendant is released (freed from being held) until his or her court date. This process is known as bailing out (making sure that the defendant gets out of jail so he or she can continue on with his or her life prior to the court date).

During this time, the defendant must attend all court proceedings (processes of the law that include showing up to court on time) in compliance (in agreement) with the law.  Otherwise, the defendant’s loved ones could risk being sued and/or losing any collateral that was signed over with the bond.

Failure to Appear or F.T.A. for your court date could mean that the bail agent will have no choice but to pay the full bail amount to the court and hire a recovery agent (otherwise referred to as a bounty hunter) to hunt down the defendant and arrest them. Therefore, if the defendant does not show up for their court date on time, then he or she could risk having a bail violation (from a bail bond forfeiture) on their permanent record and (eventually) be sent back to jail.

There is no need to be stuck in jail. Give United Bonding Company call at 901-577-1138. We are here to help you 24/7 so that we can help YOU make your bail.  



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