What Are Arizona Bail Bondsmen?

If you or a loved one is arrested in Arizona and charged with a crime, you will go through a number of different processes required by law.

As any experienced Arizona criminal attorney can tell you, it starts with the actual arrest. Very likely, you will be handcuffed and placed in the back of a squad car by an officer of the law as he or she reads your rights to you. Then you will be taken down to the local precinct for booking. Once there, you will be searched, photographed, fingerprinted, and have your information recorded on the police logs before being questioned or placed in lockup while you await arraignment, where you are brought before a judge.

The state is legally required to hold your arraignment within a specific period of time or they have to let you go. At the arraignment, your charges will be read and the judge will determine your bail eligibility. What is bail? Essentially, it is money paid to the court and held in escrow. If you appear for your trial, you get the money back after it’s all over. If, however, you decide not to show up, you forfeit that money to the court, and they will put a bounty on you to attempt to find you and make you stand trial.

For certain very serious charges, or if it is determined that you are a flight risk, you may not be granted bail at all. Most good Arizona criminal attorneys know ways to fight this and will try to work to overturn the decision, but it doesn’t always work out. If this is the case for you, you will have to remain in confinement throughout your trial. Most people, however, do not suffer this fate. You will be granted bail, and the judge will tell you the amount.

Now, according to the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, bail isn’t allowed to be excessive, but apparently the legal definition of excessive is a lot different from that of most people. Judges have to more or less stay in line with the bail amounts for each crime that have been determined by law in that area, but they still have a bit of leeway to ask for more money if they feel like it’s necessary, and some bail amounts are ridiculously high – over $100,000 in some cases!

Receiving a bail amount of $100,000 is rare, but it’s not uncommon at all to see bail set at $5,000 to $25,000. For most people, that isn’t just a lot of money – it’s way more than they can afford. All of which brings us to the need for Arizona bail bondsmen. When people can’t afford to pay the price of bail to get their loved one out of jail, they can turn to an Arizona bail bondsman to pay the money for them. How does it work? Read on.

How Arizona Bail Bondsmen Work

To use an Arizona bail bondsman, you will need to contact the bail agency and provide them with your information as well as information about the case. If they approve you, generally you will need to come up with 10 percent of the cost of bail and pay this amount to the bond company, as well as putting up collateral to cover the remaining cost of bail. If the person facing charges does not show up for their trial dates, bail bondsmen will come after you for the other 90 percent of the bail money, and if you don’t have it, they’ll take the collateral that you put up and use a bounty hunter or skip tracer to track down the person skipping out on the trial.

Either way, that 10 percent is gone. It’s a fee you’re paying the bondsmen, and for the ability to get out of jail, it’s more than fair. In fact, if a bondsman tries to solicit your business or offer you a discount you believe might be illegal, you should not trust them, and certainly shouldn’t agree to work with them. Shady practices abound, and you should always consult with your experienced Arizona criminal attorney before employing a bondsman or bond company. Your lawyer has been there and down this road before, and he or she can recommend reputable agencies to help you.

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