Each state has its own bail bond system, which gives someone who has been charged with a crime the opportunity to get out of jail and remain free until trial. In most states, including Minnesota, a judge will set a bail amount (in U.S. dollars) based on the severity of the crime committed, the offender’s previous criminal history and how likely the offender is to flee. Paying the bail amount allows the defendant to be released from jail with the understanding that he or she will return to court for trial.
Defendants can pay the entire bail amount to the court with that money going toward any fees and fines that might be awarded at a later date. They can also hire a bail bond company (like AAA Bail Bonds) to assist with the process. Our Bail Bond Agents collect a non-refundable fee (usually 10% of the bail amount) and become liable to the court for the full amount of bail if the defendant fails to appear for their court date(s). A co-signer (friend or family member of the defendant) is often required, and collateral may also be necessary to cover the full cost of the bail. The need for collateral is determined by the financial capabilities of the co-signer, risk of the bond, and credit/financial/criminal history. If needed, the collateral acts as security to ensure payment for any losses that the bail agent may encounter if the defendant does not return for trial. If all goes as it should, the collateral is returned when the case has gone through the full court process and the defendant is either charged or the case is discharged.
A bail bond agent will need to decide if the defendant is “high risk” and unlikely to return for trial. If so, the agent may refuse to post bail. A “low risk” defendant is one that has a record of steady employment, has never missed a court date in the past, and has resided in the community for a good length of time.
If a defendant out on bond does not return for trial, the court will go after the bail bond company instead of the individual. The bail bond agent is authorized to arrest the defendant for the purposes of bringing him or her to court, and may go after the co-signer for additional compensation for their time and for any fees the courts may impose.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime and need help posting bond, call AAA Bail Bonds at 888-228-2245. Agents are available around the state of Minnesota 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. More information is also available online at www.aaabailbondsmn.com.