How do I start the Florida Bail Bond process?
The best way to start a bail bond in Florida is to find out a few things about the defendant, then call our office and we will take it from there. Some helpful information would include:
- The defendant full name
- The charges
- Bond amount
- Defendants Date of Birth
- Have they had any prior arrests? Where? When?
- The county where they are being detained
If you do not have all of this information, that is OK. Most of the time, we are able to find these things out. The more information you have, the faster we can start the Bail Bond process in Florida. Contact us to get started.
Why should I use a Bail Bondsman instead of paying the cash bond?
There are a few good reasons. First, when posting cash bonds, you must be present to do so. Most county jails do not take credit cards and you must use cash. So for instance, someone has a $3,000 bond. You must bring $3,000 in cash of your own money to give to the jail. When going through a bondsman, you may only have to pay $300 (10% of the bond). This is a great for most people because you do not have to tie up all of your cash money.
Some people have the misconception that if they choose cash bonds that after the case is disposed of, they will receive ALL of their money back. Maybe so, and maybe not... In Florida, the courts can take any court fees, costs, or fines that have been assessed during the case or as part of the disposition. When using a bonding agency, the courts are not able to use the bond money for these fees. You will be charged a premium, but that is all the fees you will have to pay. In addition, any collateral (cash or any other collateral) is returned in full.
Using a bondsman is typically the fastest and easiest way to get someone out of jail. Plus, by using a bondsman, it will require the least amount of money up front.
How much is it to post a bail bond?
Depending on what type of bail bond you are posting, the bond premium may change. State/County bail bonds the premium is 10% of the bail bond. However, depending on the bond amounts and how many charger there are to post bond for that may change. For instance, if the bond is less than $1,000, the standard 10% does not apply. In Florida, there is a $100 minimum on bail bonds. for instance, if the bond was set at $750, the premium would be $100 not $75.
In some cases, there are more than one charge and is necessary to post more than one bail bond. Each charge in relation to it's bond will have to be treated individually. Here is an example:
- Charge 1 - Bond is set at $500.00, premium $100
- Charge 2 - Bond is set at $1500.00, premium $150
- Charge 3 - Bond is set at $1000.00, premium $100
- In this case, the premium would be $350.00.
If you are wanted to post a Federal or Immigration bail bond, the standard premium is 15% due to the higher risk of the bond. All premiums are non-negotiable and set by the Florida Department of Financial Services. Any bail bondsman who says they can give you a lower rate is in violation of Florida Law and you should be careful when dealing with such companies.
In some cases, a bail bond must be transferred to a different county. This happens sometimes in smaller counties where full time bail bondsman are not available. The usual transfer fee is $100, but depending on the situation could be as much as $250. The transfer fee is rare, but is required in a few instances.
Will I need collateral to post a bail bond?
When posting a bail bond, you will always put up some type of collateral. The required collateral may be in the form of contracts. These contracts state that you (the indemnitor) will be responsible for the full amount of the bond in the event that the defendant is not compliant to the bail bond terms and agreements. In other words, if the defendant does not show up to court each and every time he/she is required to do so.
Other collateral for bail may be required in addition to the contracts. This can come in in the form of cash, real property, stocks, bonds, cars, boats, and possibly other item of value. When using cash (or credit card) to secure collateral, it is placed into a separate collateral account required by DFS. This is a non interest bering escrow account set up for this purpose. Using cash is the most common for of collateral mainly due to the ease of transfer. It is not uncommon for a mortgage to be placed on real estate to secure the bond up until the disposition of the case.
When is collateral returned?
All Collateral is returned upon notification from the court that the case has been disposed of. The verdict of the case (guilty, not guilty, etc.) has no bering on whether or not the collateral is returned just as long as the bail bond agency receives the required documentation form the courts.
How long does the Bail Bond process take?
On the average the Bond process takes between 2 and 8 hours depending on the county and the case load. This process can be sped up by having the form packet completed in advance of your contact with us. You may download this packet here.
Can I still post a Bail Bond if I am not local to the area?
Yes. It may not be necessary for you to come down to the bail bonds office go through the procedures. With the use of a credit card and a fax machine, much of the information can be sent via fax or email.
If you have any more question or concerns about posting a bail bond long distance, please all our offices and we can further discuss the process.
When is collateral returned?
If collateral is taken for the bail bond, it must be returned to the indemnitor within 21 days after the bail bond has been discharged in writing by the court. With this said, just because the case was discharged that day in court does not mean that you can come get your collateral that day. The bail bond agency must receive FROM THE COURT a notice of discharge. Once we have received that notice, we will begin the return process.
If you were granted a payment plan for the bond and all payments have not been made, the collateral may not be able to be returned until all payments have been satisfied.
Usually after we have notification form the court and no other payments are due, we usually have the collateral back to you with in a few days. All cash collateral is keep in a separate account required by all licensed bail agents. Bail Bond agents are not allowed to use collateral for personal use at any time. All collateral taken must be reasonable in relation to the amount of the bond.