Below are a few of our most commonly asked questions about Phoenix bail bonds and how bail bonds in Phoenix, Arizona work. If you can't find the answer to your question below please call us at 602-267-9057.
What is Bail?
Bail is cash or property pledged to the court to obtain the release of an inmate held in jail on a suspected criminal offense. Bail guarantees that if the defendant does not appear for each court hearing until sentenced that the bail may be retained by the court for damages.
What is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond, also known as a “Surety Bond”, is a contractual undertaking made by a state licensed bail bondsman who is backed, “underwritten”, by an insurance company. The bail bonds agent guarantees to the court payment of the full amount of the bond if the defendant fails to appear for their scheduled court appearances or fails to abide by his/her conditions of release while out on bond.
How much does a Bail Bond cost?
Arizona bail bond premium rates are governed by the Arizona Department of Insurance (AZDOI). The AZDOI has set premium rates to be a minimum of 10% plus actual expenses. Commonly, bail bond companies set a minimum premium rate they will charge on a bail bond; this rate can vary amongst bondsman, but as the bond increases in size ($2,000.00 or greater), the premium rate becomes more uniform. The AZDOI regulates Surety Bail Bonds; it does not regulate Cash Bail Bonds.
How do I buy a bail bond?
A Surety Bond is composed of two things:
- The premium and fee – paid by cash, credit card, or deposit. The premium and fee are non-refundable.
- Collateral – some tangible property or cash equal in value to the bond amount (a $10,000 bond requires $10,000 worth of property). Property values are determined by applying wholesale or pawn shop type evaluation methods.
What is collateral?
Collateral is something of value that is used to secure a bail bond. Collateral can be anything of salable value including; vehicles, trailers, real estate, jewelry and cash. Collateral is held in trust, either by lien or physical possession, pending the exoneration of the bond. Once the bond has been exonerated (liability on the bond released) the collateral will be returned; this usually occurs after a case has been completed.
Do I always need collateral for a bail bond?
Phoenix Bail Bonds is “old school”, we prefer to have all our bonds fully collateralized. Clients tend to appreciate and respect the gravity of the situation when something is at stake. Court cases seem to get resolved quicker and Defendants are more diligent at attending their court case. However, on occasion we can compromise or negotiate other options.
When do I get my money back?
Premiums and fees are non-refundable, it is the cost of the bond. Collateral is returned to you upon exoneration of the bond. If you posted the entire bail amount and fees in cash, then the bail amount will be returned upon receipt from the court, but the premium and fees are non-refundable.
What happens if the defendant skips bail?
The court will issue an arrest warrant for the defendant and set a bond Forfeiture Hearing. If the defendant has not been rearrested by the bondsman and reasonable excuse is not provided at the Forfeiture Hearing, the bond will be forfeited.
If the bond is forfeited at a Forfeiture Hearing, what liabilities do I have?
If the bond is forfeited at the hearing you will be responsible for paying the full amount of the forfeited bond. If you are unable to pay, your collateral may be sold. If the collateral is sold and it does not cover the bondsman’s loss, you will have an enforceable debt against you. If you paid the full bail amount in cash (cash, credit card, bank deposited funds, Zelle, etc.) then your bail will not be returned, but will be forfeited to the court.