The absolute worst part of being the defendant in any case is waiting in jail for your trial. Whether you or your loved one spends hours, days, or even weeks in a cell, this is time that could be far better spent building a solid defense, shopping for the right attorney, or staying on top of personal and professional responsibilities. Jail is hardly a comfortable place to be, and more often than not, being held there feels downright dangerous. The good news is that there are ways to get out. Understanding the five following things about Minnesota bail bonds can make reclaiming your personal freedom infinitely easier. Thanks to our friends at Stuckinjail.com and the Minnesota Legislature for help with this helpful guide!
1. There Are Several Ways to Obtain Release While Waiting for Your Trial
Everyone has heard the term “getting bailed out,” but not everyone is 100 percent sure of what it means. Bail is a monetary guarantee that a defendant will return for their trial, even though they aren’t being physically held until their day in court arrives. When bail amounts are relatively nominal and defendants or their families are financially well-off, bail can often be paid in full, upfront. Whether or not a defendant is found guilty, all of this money will be returned by the local court after all court appearances have been made.
Paying bail upfront is known as putting up a cash bond. No third-parties are involved, and apart from any court fees required, all paid funds will eventually be restored. Sometimes defendants are lucky enough to get released on their own recognizance, also known as an OR bond. In these instances, defendants simply need to verbally promise to appear in court, and absolutely no bail money is required. An OR bond is typically reserved for those charged with non-violent crimes, and with few to no prior charges on their records.
Similar to an OR bond is conditional release. With a conditional release, a defendant must verbally promise to return to court. However, several stipulations may be made. These can include submitting to routine drug or alcohol testing, agreeing to meet with court representatives on a regular basis, or taking part in a drug treatment or counseling program.
With a signature bond, a defendant is released without having to pay any money upfront. However, if this person fails to appear in court, the amount of the signature bond must be paid in full. Finally, defendants have the option of placing surety bonds. With these, third-parties or bail bond agencies agree to pay the full bail amount. In turn, defendants or their families pay just 10 percent of the bail amount directly to the bail bond company. Although the courts will restore the full bail to the company issuing the surety bond, the 10 percent that’s been paid by the defendant is retained as payment for services rendered.
2. Minnesota Bail Bond Companies Charge Just 10 Percent of Your Full Bail Costs
If you aren’t released on your own recognizance or on a conditional release, and if you cannot pay for your bail on your own, working with a bail bond agency is the best choice. A bail bond company will pay the full amount of a defendant’s bail, while charging the defendant a small fraction of this cost. According to Minnesota law, bail bond companies operating within the state cannot legally charge more than 10 percent of bail. Although they retain these monies even after the full bail amount has been refunded by the local courts, this is considered fair payment for the risk that they’ve taken on, and for the administrative and other services they’ve provided.
3. There Are Still Fees to Pay With Conditional Release
Conditional release often requires a little out-of-pocket spending. For instance, it may be necessary to pay for drug or alcohol testing services, pre-trial diversion programs, or other forms of ordered support. Notwithstanding this fact, the costs of conditional release are always significantly lower than having to pail bail.
4. It Can Take Several Hours or Even Days to Obtain Release
Whether using a cash bond or a surety bond, posting bail for any serious crime may take time. This is especially true when defendants are arrested on the weekend or during the holiday season. The court system has 36 hours after a defendant has been arrested to set a hearing to establish bail. This, however, does not include weekends, holidays, or any other court closures. Fortunately, there are set bond schedules for misdemeanor crimes. In many instances, bail bond companies can arrange to post bail right after a person who’s been charged with a misdemeanor has been processed in.
5. Failure to Make Court Appearances Comes With Stiff Penalties
Given that bail is a monetary guarantee that a defendant will appear, people who miss their hearings stand to lose all the bail that’s been paid on their behalf. When Minnesota bail bond agencies issue surety bonds, this is the risk that they take on. To mitigate this risk, bail bond agencies often require cosigners or collateral that’s equal in value to their potential losses.
If you or someone you love is being held in jail while awaiting trial, A-Affordable Bail Bonds can help. We’re a trusted provider of Minnesota bail bonds, and we have a long-standing reputation for providing ultra-fast service and first-class customer support. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your options or to get started.