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What Is A Bail Bondsman?

A bail bondsman is any person or corporation that takes on the responsibility of pledging money or property as bail for the appearance of a criminal defendant in court.

The Bondsman generally charge a fee of 10% of the total amount of the bail that is set. This fee is not refundable and represents the counterbalance for services rendered.

If the defendant does not appear in court, the bondsman has the right to bring the defendant to court in order to recover the money paid out under the bond by retaining the services of a bounty hunter or other remedies. The bondsman can also sue the defendant for any money owed to the court if the defendant fails to appear.

A recognizance is a promise, made by the accused to the court, that he or she will attend all required court proceedings and will not engage in any illegal activity or other prohibited conduct.

Under the current law, a defendant has the right to bail if the custody time limits has expired, unless there is a probable reason not to grant bail.

The main reasons why bail can be refused are:

  1. The defendant is accused of a crime in which bail cannot be set.
  2. There is reason to believe that the defendant will commit further offences while out on bail.
  3. The defendant will interfere with witnesses.
  4. The court may refuse bail for the defendants own protection.

If the defendant fails to comply with bail conditions, it is not considered an offence, but it may lead to the defendant being arrested and bought back to court and will be taken into custody until the court is satisfied that they will comply with their conditions.

A protective order is given when the defendant is required by a court order to refrain from criminal activity against the alleged crime victim, or to stay away from and to have no contact with the alleged crime victim. Violation of the order can result in the defendant's automatic forfeiture of bail and the defendant is then subject to further fines and imprisonment.

The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776, section 29, states that "Excessive bail shall not be exacted for bail able: And all fines shall be moderate.

The Bail Reform Act of 1966 states that a non-capitol defendant "shall...be ordered released pending trial on his personnel recognizance," or on a personal bond unless the judicial officer determines that these incentives will not assure his court appearance.

Individuals who are charged or convicted of a capitol crime are subject to being released unless the judicial officer has reason to believe that no conditions will assure that the defendant will appear in court. In this case, bail is revoked.


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