The Basics of Bail Bonds: How They Work and What You Need to Know

Before agreeing to a bond, knowing what you’re dealing with is essential. Here are the basics everyone should know about bail bonds in West Chester, PA.  

First, you should understand how to bail someone out of jail and what bail means. “Bail” is essentially a monetary guarantee that if the person is released from prison, they will show up for their court hearing and obey the conditions of their release. If they meet all the requirements, the money is returned. If they do not follow the rules, the money is forfeited. However, since bail is typically set to a very high amount, most people cannot pay it by themselves. This is where bail bonds become relevant.

The Affordable Solution: Bonds

Working with a bail bondsman allows people to have their family members and friends released from jail without posting the entire bail amount. Instead, they will pay the bondsman a non-refundable 10% of the bail, and the bondsman will provide the rest of the money. As long as all the conditions of the release are met, the bondsman gets their money back, and nothing further is required. 

However, if the jailed person fails to make their court appearance or doesn’t meet another condition of their release, whoever signed the bond agreement will have to pay the bondsman back for the money lost. That’s why you mustn’t agree to a bail bond unless you are confident that the person you release will follow through on their obligations. 

How to Bail Someone Out of Jail

When you find out a family member or friend is in jail, don’t panic. Follow these instructions on how to bail someone out of jail in Scranton, PA, to bring them home as soon as possible.

Collect Their Details

First, make sure they are eligible for bail. Under Pennsylvania law, most people are qualified, but exceptions exist for severe charges or anyone considered a flight risk. Once you’ve confirmed their eligibility, collect these essential details: 

Full Name of the Person Jailed 
Date of Birth of the Person Jailed 
Which Jail They are Held In 
Their Booking or Report Number 
The Charges They are Accused Of  

If you are missing some information, that is all right; gather as much information as you can. Finally, find out their bail amount by contacting the jail or checking the online court records.

Contact a Bail Bond Agent

The next step is to secure an affordable bail bond. Research the bondsmen in your area to find a reputable provider, and then contact them with the details you collected. 

Your bondsman will confirm the information and give you a written agreement outlining the terms and conditions of the bail bond. Typically, this entails a 10% fee of the total bail amount and agreeing to pay the full amount if the client does not meet their bail condition. Finally, your bondsman will post bail on your behalf so you can bring your family member or friend home. Contact us to learn more about how our affordable bail bonds work and what to expect from the process. 

Getting Released on Your Own Recognizance

Individuals who have been arrested may sometimes be released on their own recognizance, which means they do not have to pay bail. They do have to sign a promise to appear in court as required and may be required to stay in the geographical location and to contact the court regularly to check in. Most cases of being released on one’s own recognizance (ROR) are traffic matters, minor, or technical crimes. In some cases, an ROR is known as “personal recognizance” or a “PR bond.”

States and counties differ in their rules on how to decide who is eligible to be released on their own recognizance. Despite these differences, the following categories or groups of defendants are often eligible to be released on their own recognizance:

Lower Grade Offenders
Most jail officials only want to keep repeat and violent criminals in jail, so lower level, non-violent offenders tend to get priority on personal recognizance bonds.

Indigent Offenders
If a court decides that a defendant cannot afford an attorney, they appoint an attorney on the defendant’s behalf. Also, if they find that the defendant cannot afford a bond, they may grant the defendant a personal recognizance bond so he or she can get out of jail.

Defendants with Serious Medical Conditions
Those with conditions that require weekly treatments may be granted a PR bond so that the county is not liable for the defendant’s medical treatment while in jail.

Defendants with Delayed Charges
If defendants have been held for a long time without a charge being formally filed, they may be released on their own recognizance. Some states cannot keep a defendant for more than 90 days without obtaining an indictment.

Rely on the experienced staff at Always Available Bail Bonds LLC, which serves clients with bail bonds in West Chester, PA, and throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. Call 1-800-BAIL-OUT any time of night or day.


Common Bail Bond Questions, Part 2

Bail Bonds in West Chester, PA | AABailBondsLLC.com

The questions below are a continuation of the blog about the most common bail bond questions:

  • What if the defendant skips out?
    If a defendant skips his or her court dates, it’s up to the bail bondsman to find and bring the defendant back to court. Courts vary on the amount of time they allow the bondsman to take to find the defendant.  If the defendant is not found in that designated timeframe, the person who has signed the bond is held accountable for paying the full amount of the bond plus additional expenses. You do not want to arrange bail for someone to get out of jail if you are doubtful he or she will appear in court as required.
  • Do you get your money back when you bail someone out of jail?
    No. The bondsman’s fee is usually approximately 10% of the bail amount. That amount is what the bondsman is paid to get the arrested person out of jail. Collateral, however, is returned once the criminal case is finalized.
  • If the person is found guilty, do you get your money back?
    With the exception of collateral, the money that is paid to the bondsman is not refunded.  Bond agents make their living on the bail money they are paid. 
  • Is your money returned if the charges are dropped?
    No. The bail money that is paid to get the arrested person out of jail is only for that purpose and is not adjusted for the arrested person’s guilt, innocence, or court case factors.
  •  Can a cosigner revoke a bail bond?
    The only person that can revoke a bond is the bail bondsman. The bond agent has the authority to apprehend and surrender the defendant if he or she refuses to go to court. If the bondsman thinks the defendant may cause a forfeiture of the bail bond, he or she can locate and surrender the defendant.

 Contact Always Available Bail Bonds LLC when you need bail bonds in West Chester, PA, any time of night or day. Take advantage of the 24/7 services we offer throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. Call 1-800-BAIL-OUT any time of night or day.

Contact Always Available Bail Bonds LLC when you need bail bonds in West Chester, PA, any time of night or day. Take advantage of the 24/7 services we offer throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. Call 1-800-BAIL-OUT any time of night or day.



Common Bail Bond Questions, Part 1

Bondsman in Scranton, PA | AABailBondsLLC.com

If you or someone you love has been arrested and cannot afford to pay the full amount of bail, you need a bondsman in Scranton, PA, from Always Available Bail Bonds LLC. A bail bond is one kind of court surety bond that allows the arrested person to be released from jail by guaranteeing that he or she appears before the court on the designated date. If that person fails to show up in court, the bail bond company pays the full amount of the bond, and this sum is forfeited to the court.

For petty crimes, bail bonds vary and are based on the location of the arrest. Wait times for release also differ and depend on whether or not the defendant is being held at a local city jail in a police station or has been sent to the county jail.

The following are some of the most common questions (with answers) about how a bail bond works:

  • Is collateral required for a bail bond?
    Collateral is not required for most bail bonds because bail collateral is taken in place of or in addition to bail money to secure the defendant’s release. Bail money is a type of loan to ensure that the person appears in court. Collateral can be a property, jewelry, vehicle, or any other valuable asset that is in a defendant’s or a cosigner’s name.
  • What happens if the bail bonds company is not paid?
    You owe the amount of money you agreed to pay to the bail bond company or agent. If you do not pay, a bail bond company may sue you for the money owed in civil court. If the bail bond agreement you signed includes collateral, you may be secured by personal assets that have value. If you don’t keep your end of the bond agreement, the bail bond company takes ownership of the asset and acquires the value of it to counter the amount that you still owe them.


What Is a Court Surety Bond?

Bail Bonds in Harrisburg, PA | AABailBondsLLC.com

A surety bond in the case of making bail is the amount of money in cash or property to ensure the arrested person attends all required court appearances. The bond enables the person charged with a crime to be released from jail until his or her case is completed.

A bail bondsman provides a surety bond to have the inmate released for a fee of around ten percent of the total bail amount. For example, in the case of a $50,000 bond, whoever is signing the bond must pay $5,000 up front. Bail agents from Always Available Bail Bonds LLC provide bail bonds in Harrisburg, PA, and throughout Eastern Pennsylvania.

Cash bonds are different from surety bonds.  When someone bails the arrested person out of jail with a cash bond, he or she has to provide the entire face amount of bail demanded by the court before an inmate can leave. If a judge sets a defendant’s bail at $50,000, the entire amount must be paid before the inmate can be released. This amount of money is held as collateral until the completion of the case.

A surety bond is the usual path taken to bailing someone out of jail. It’s unlikely for someone to have the available funds to post a cash bond. Even if someone has a large amount of money, he or she won’t know how long their money will be tied up before the case is over. That’s the time to turn to a trusted bail bondsman to provide a surety bond to have the inmate released.

Contact Always Available Bail Bonds LLC at 1-800-BAIL-OUT when you or someone in your life needs a bail bond anywhere in Eastern Pennsylvania.

A Brief History of Bail Bond Laws

Bail Bonds in West Chester, PA | AABailBondsLLC.com

After nearly 200 years, the most valuable bail bond law to date was instituted by the U.S. Congress in the form of the Bail Reform Act of 1966, which stated that a defendant facing trial for a non-capital offense should be released “on his personal recognizance” or a personal bond. However, if the court had reason to believe the defendant would leave town, the judge could choose a more restrictive alternative like limiting the defendant’s travel and executing an appearance bond to be refunded when the defendant appeared in court.

While individual states had their own rules, most of them added guidelines similar to the Bail Reform Act of 1966. At that time flaws in the act were also pointed out, for example, the defendant’s potential risk to the community for non-capital offenses. This became an issue when defendants released for non-capital offenses committed more crimes while they were out on bail. So a revision was made by The District of Columbia Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act of 1970, which enabled judges to consider the dangerousness to the community as well as the flight risk when setting bail for non-capital cases.

At a later time, the federal justice system added the “safety of the community” as a factor to be considered when imposing bail, and thus the Bail Reform Act of 1984 was passed. This newer version added guidelines stating that a person can be detained without bail if he or she:

  • Poses a risk to the community.
  • Intimidates jurors or witnesses, and obstructs justice while out on bail.
  • Commits a violent crime, an offense carrying a death penalty or life in prison, or committing any felony while already having a serious criminal record.

Rely on the experienced staff at Always Available Bail Bonds LLC, which serves clients with bail bonds in West Chester, PA, and throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. Call 1-800-BAIL-OUT any time of night or day.


What Is an Immigration Bond?

Immigration Bond in Stroudsburg, PA | AABailBondsLLC.com

Noncitizens in immigration detention are eligible for immigration bonds. An immigration bond is a sum of money that they will receive back if they show up for all their court and other dates with the United States immigration authorities. The initial bond amount is set by the district director of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The minimum amount is $1,500. The amount beyond the minimum depends on a variety of factors in the person’s case. For example, ICE considers the length of time the person has lived in the United States, any family ties in the U.S., employment history, criminal record, and any history of immigration violations.

When ICE sets the initial bond amount, your relative or friend can request in writing or orally that the amount is lowered or changed by an immigration judge. As some judges conduct bond hearings at the same time as the initial master calendar hearing, it is possible to file a “Motion for Bond Redetermination” and request a separate hearing during which the judge decides on the bond issue alone. Once the judge makes a final bond determination, the amount cannot change unless the circumstances related to the noncitizen’s detention change.

Note: Not everyone is eligible for an immigration bond in Stroudsburg, PA. Some noncitizens—mostly those with criminal records—are subject to mandatory detention and thus cannot get out on bond.

Take advantage of the 24/7 services of Always Available Bail Bonds LLC, assisting clients throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. Call 1-800-BAIL-OUT any time of night or day.

Part 2: Lawful and Unlawful Arrests

Bail Bonds in Harrisburg, PA | AABailBondsLLC.com

To continue our blog on lawful and unlawful arrests, for an arrest to be lawful the court or official body must have jurisdiction and the authority to arrest the person targeted by the warrant. The arresting officer is required to know the requirements of a valid warrant. If the warrant does not fulfill all of these specifications, the officer may be liable for a false arrest even though he or she did not prepare the warrant.

Also, there is no protection from false arrest if the arresting officer intentionally or recklessly leaves out information, or knowingly provides false information, to procure the warrant. In most cases, however, if the officer mistakenly leaves out or provides inaccurate information, the warrant is still valid.

What Is a Warrantless Arrest?

If all of the known facts at the time of the arrest lead a “reasonably prudent” person to believe that the person arrested had committed a felony, the law enforcement officer can make an arrest without a warrant. Even if a criminal trial later proves the person innocent, this does not mean the officer lacked probable cause. Law enforcement officials can also make warrantless arrests of anyone that is potentially guilty of breach of the peace. This arrest is considered lawful whether the breach of the peace is a felony or misdemeanor and regardless of whether all of the people arrested were actually breaching the peace.

Contact Always Available Bail Bonds LLC when you need bail bonds in Harrisburg, PA, any time of night or day. Our experienced staff works with all manner of arrested persons.

Part 1: Lawful and Unlawful Arrests

Affordable Bail Bonds in Williamsport, PA | AABailBondsLLC.com

A person who is being arrested must be informed that he or she is being arrested. However, when a law enforcement officer is making the arrest, a visible badge or uniform is sufficient to inform the person that he or she is being arrested. For an arrest to be lawful, a law enforcement officer must also tell the person arrested what they are being arrested for. If telling the person what they are being arrested for is too dangerous—or will lead to an escape—can the officer making the arrest skip this requirement. When a law enforcement officer is making an arrest under a warrant, the person arrested must be informed of the warrant and shown the warrant if they ask the arresting officer.

What Is a Warrant?

A warrant is issued by a legal process from the court or another official body for the arrest of a person. An arrest warrant is typically for criminal charges; it may also be used in relation to mental health or guardianship issues. When the warrant is deemed “valid,” the person making the arrest cannot be sued in civil court for false arrest. A valid warrant must include:

  • The name of the court or other official issuing entity.
  • The arrested person’s name or description.
  • The offense or reason for the arrest.
  • Additional criminal procedure requirements to make a warrant valid depend on the jurisdiction.

Contact Always Available Bail Bonds LLC at 1-800-BAIL-OUT when you or someone in your life needs affordable bail bonds in Williamsport, PA, or anywhere in Eastern Pennsylvania.