Being arrested and thrown into a jail can be a traumatic experience for anyone, especially if that person has never had the experience before. What would you do if you, a close friend or family member needed to be bailed out of jail? It would be important to understand the bail bond process in Pennsylvania so that you could move this process along as quickly as possible.
The bail system exists so that you can have the opportunity to continue your life while you are awaiting trial for criminal or misdemeanor charges. The criminal justice system is very slow moving and no one wants to wait in custody, whether they are guilty or innocent of the charges. There are four basic ways to be released from custody in Pennsylvania. They are:
- Using a bail bond agent
- Posting cash for the full amount of the bond with the court or the jail
- Using your home as collateral
- Having the judge decide to let you go free on your own recognizance
Most people opt for utilizing a bail bond agent. To get someone released, there will be a fee known as ‘bail.’ A bail bond agent will post a bond to get someone released after collecting a nonrefundable fee (up to 10% of the total bail amount) from the defendant, their family or friends. If cash is unavailable, the agent can take other collateral such as jewelry, a car, or electronics. In return, the bail bond agent agrees to pay the remaining amount to the court if the defendant fails to appear. If the defendant fails to appear, he or she loses their property or bond. If the defendant fails to appear, called jumping bail, the bail bond agency may hire someone to locate the defendant and have him taken into custody. The agent could also sue the defendant or whoever guaranteed the bond. If money is not available, assets can be seized.
The bail bond agent should know where the person is in custody, their full name and booking number. This information is available from the state’s ‘Inmate Locator.’ The bail bond agent will call and find out how much bail is necessary and any other requirements to get the person released. If you want to pay the full bail up front, you can go to the ‘Bail Acceptance Office.’
If you have been arrested in Pennsylvania, call Apple Bail Bonds in Allentown. We’re open 24 hours a day and can be reached at 484-268-5663 or collect at 610-432-1222. Our agents are professionally trained, experienced and waiting to help you get out of jail as quickly as possible.