Frequent Question About Immigration Bonds
- So what is a bail bond?
- What are the release options when someone is arrested?
- How do I know when the Defendant has to go to Court?
- Can I finance part of the bail bond fee?
ANSWER: A bail bond is a three-party contract between the Courts, the Bondsman, and the Indemnitor (also called a Cosigner or Guarantor). It is the Bondsman (ACTION Immigration Bonds & Insurance Services, Inc.) who guarantees to the Court that the accused – when released on bail – will be present for each and every court appearance in the future. In turn, the Indemnitor guarantees to the Bondsman that he/she will make sure that the Defendant goes to Court when required. For this “Bond Contract”, the Bondsman charges a percentage of the total bond. There are immigration bonds, state court bonds and Federal bonds, which are put in place depending on the charges.
ANSWER: There are basically 5 forms of release options available today. They are:
- Surety Bond: This process involves a contractual undertaking such as the one explained above involving a Bail Bondsman, an Indemnitor and the Court. The Courts tend to favor this form of release because it guarantees that if the defendant fails to appear in court, someone (the Bail Agent) will immediately make an effort to find the defendant, apprehend him/her, and bring him/her back to the court of proper jurisdiction. By involving family and friends of the defendant, a Bail Bondsman and the Courts are reasonably assured of the Defendant’s appearance.
- Cash Bail: Cash bail means that the person who is trying to obtain the release of the defendant must deliver the full amount of bail in cash to the jail facility where the defendant is being detained.
- Property Bond: Property Bonds involve the placing of local real estate (homes only, no raw land or out of state homes) with the Courts as security for the release of a defendant. This process typically takes one to two weeks because it requires a Judge’s approval, a property appraisal, a comparable sales comparison, and the Clerk’s acceptance. However, most states do not accept property bonds.
- ROR (Release on Own Recognizance): Release on Own Recognizance is another method of release and it is given to defendant’s who have been in the community for many years, have solid jobs, strong family and community ties, and present little or no risk of flight. This release program is usually administered by a county agency or through a local law enforcement agency. A criminal history background check is performed and a recommendation is given to the court based on those findings. This form of release is common only for first time offenders and for non-violent offenses. Since there is no financial or other security placed with the court to insure the defendant’s return to court, there is little incentive for them to appear.
- ELMO and Pre-Trial Services: ELMO stands for ELectronic MOnitor, and is usually a condition of release in addition to a regular bail bond. The ELMO program is administered either by the local Pre-Trial Services Agency or the local law enforcement agency. This device is usually in the form of an ankle bracelet. It sets off an alarm if a person strays too far from its base located within the defendant’s home.
No matter how long it takes, ACTION Immigration Bonds & Insurance Services, Inc. will be monitoring the process to insure the fastest release possible.
ANSWER: All courts notify the defendant by mail of their court dates. As a courtesy, most jurisdictions also notify the bail agent of the court dates, too. This is done either by mail or by phone. In almost all cases, the courts will notify the defendant at least several days before the court date. As the Indemnitor, you will be notified either by telephone or by mail from our office of all court dates that we are given by the courts. It is then your responsibility to make sure the defendant knows about the court date. In addition, during regular business hours either you or the defendant can call our offices and ask if you have any upcoming court dates.