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Top 5 Mistakes While Out On Bond

Do you have a friend or family member who is out on bond? When the court grants your loved one a bail bond, they have the opportunity to meet with their legal team, build a defense, and maintain their employment. Plus, statistics show that on average it is cheaper to hire a bondsman than sit in jail. Sadly, statistics also show defendants stuck in jail rather than out on bond are over 80% more likely to plead guilty to a crime they didn’t commit in order to get released. They are released with time-served but a tarnished record, and may even lose certain rights like their gun rights or voting rights!

But time out–have you noticed the phrase “out on bond” has been repeatedly used rather than the word “bail” in this article so far?

This is because people often make the mistake of misusing these two words or mixing them up to where they become one in the same. It’s even common to hear a lawyer misuse the terms. 

The simplest way to explain it is that “bail” is an amount set by the court in order to secure your release. A “bond” is a contract between three parties. Typically, the defendant, the court, and the bail bondsman make up those three parties. Just like many states require other forms of judicial bonds or performance bonds, a bail bond ensures the defendant’s appearance in court. They are required to post a bail amount through a surety. The bail bondsman most commonly provides that surety through a surety bond.

The author of this article and founder/owner of Apex Bail Bonds LLC, Fred Shanks, IV is a licensed bondsman in two states and is considered an “industry expert” because of his knowledge of the ins and outs of the bail industry across the country. Should you wish to see more in depth content in the future, keep checking this website and be sure to follow Apex Bail Bonds on Facebook and Instagram. keep an eye out for future content aimed at bondsmen, legislators, and other stakeholders who’d like to “get in the weeds” or just learn the basics from their point of view.

Secured Bonds vs. Unsecured Bonds                     

Defendants are released on two different types of bail. Some petty crimes result in the defendant being released on an unsecured bond which is essentially a promise to appear in court at all future court dates. However, unsecured bonds still carry with them conditions of the court and sometimes pretrial monitoring.

Unsecured bonds are generally used for first time offenders, petty crimes and misdemeanors, and defendants who turn themselves in as soon as possible. They are fingerprinted and then released after being informed of any bond conditions. For Example in the Commonwealth of Virginia most defendants awaiting trial are not allowed to leave the state.  the only exceptions are those with driver’s licenses and addresses that show they live outside of Virginia or those who are granted special exceptions for work or to receive necessary Medical Care. Another reason may be to attend other court hearings the defendant has elsewhere. Outside of those reasons generally all pretrial defendants are required to remain within Virginia, regardless of their bond type.

Next, we have secured bonds, which is probably what brought you To this page.  secured bonds are set by a magistrate or judge and are secured by Some form of Surety: this can be through real estate or land, full cash payment of their entire bail amount or by hiring a bail bondsman who can post your bond for as little as 10-15% of the bond amount. 

Some bail bond agencies like Apex Bail Bonds can make that process even easier by offering to accept a down payment to get you released swiftly. Our bail bondsmen then work with you to set up a custom bail bond payment plan that suits your needs. At Apex Bail Bonds we take into consideration the shock and stress this unexpected arrest has brought so we have been offering the lowest rates ALLOWED ever since we opened.

Since North Carolina technically has no minimum amount we cannot use that wording but we generally offer the most competitive rates near me. 

Regardless of the bail bondsman you choose, Apex Bail Bonds recommends you follow your bond conditions so that you remain out on bail without risking a revocation of your bond.

What to Avoid When Out on Bail

What can you do when out on bail? The sections below discuss critical out-on-bail rules to prevent additional criminal charges and penalties.

Failure to Appear in Court

Attending all court proceedings is crucial to prevent bail forfeiture. If your loved one misses one court appearance, the bail bond will become in default, and the court may issue a bench warrant for their arrest. As a result, failure to appear can result in jail time for the remainder of the trial.

If you posted bail on behalf of the defendant, their failure to appear can have far-reaching consequences. For example, in the case of a property bond, the court can foreclose on your property, and you can lose your home.

Not Complying With Bail Conditions

A defendant out on bail should know and understand all bail restrictions applying to their release. When establishing bail conditions, the court will consider various factors, including the defendant’s criminal history, mental condition, and the nature of the alleged offense.

For example, the court may order that the defendant stays away from a specific place or person. The defendant may also need to carry a tracking device, follow a curfew, or find employment. Non-compliance with any of these restrictions can result in bail forfeiture and rearrest.

Associating With Criminals

Does your loved one tend to engage in illicit behaviors while in the company of a specific group of people? In many cases, conduct resulting from bad influences leads to criminal charges. Taking steps to prevent these interactions can mitigate your loved one’s risk of committing a bail restriction infringement.

Possessing or Using Illicit Substances

Bail restrictions often prohibit the use of drugs and other illicit substances. The court may also prohibit the use of legal substances, such as alcohol, especially if the alleged offense was related to intoxication. For example, if the criminal charge is for a felony hit-and-run under the influence, the court will likely prohibit the consumption of alcohol while the defendant is out on bail.

A defendant should avoid the use of illicit substances to prevent bail forfeiture. If drug use alters the defendant’s state of mind and behavior, avoiding these substances is critical to prevent run-ins with the law while out on bail.

Possessing or Using Weapons

In most cases, release conditions will prohibit the use and possession of weapons, even if the alleged offense did not involve possessing or discharging a firearm. For example, in a case that involves domestic violence, the court may order the defendant to hand over all firearms and ammunition to the police.

Avid hunters or collectors should educate themselves on the release conditions to ensure that they don’t forfeit bail. However, surrendering firearms and ammunition can demonstrate to the court that the defendant takes the bail conditions seriously and doesn’t pose a risk to the safety of others.

Leaving the State

Whether the defendant is a flight risk is a factor the court considers when setting a bail amount. The court needs assurance that the defendant will not leave the court’s jurisdiction in an attempt to avoid prosecution. As a result, release conditions usually prohibit defendants from leaving the state.

Even if these restrictions don’t prevent defendants from going on holiday, a defendant should avoid leaving the state where they face the charge. Non-compliance with this restriction can result in a rearrest, bail forfeiture, and jail time for the remainder of the trial.

Ending Employment

The courts generally consider employment to be a mitigating factor during bail hearings. Defendants who are employed are generally at a lower flight risk. As a rule, the courts try not to keep employed defendants in jail, especially if they have dependents.

By continuing employment, a defendant minimizes the impact of the criminal charge on their earning ability and quality of life. Employment provides stability during a challenging time and allows defendants to meet their households’ needs.

Trying to Contact Prosecution Witnesses or Law Enforcement

The court may include no-contact orders in the bail conditions to ensure the safety of the community or specific individuals. For example, in an assault case, the court may order that the defendant doesn’t try to contact the plaintiff or engage in conduct that may constitute a threat or stalking.

A no-contact order can also prohibit the defendant from visiting a specific location, such as a school or a person’s house.


Speak To a Bondsman Now

While out on bail, a defendant must tread carefully to prevent bail forfeiture and rearrest.

Apex Bail Bonds agents continue training long after licensure so they can be better equipped to assist you if a situation arises. Always seek legal counsel first as they are the ones most familiar to your case and the case law relating to it.

If you post bail on behalf of the defendant, their actions can also affect you. Non-compliance with bail conditions can result in the court issuing a bond forfeiture. If the defendant is not located within the time frame you are responsible for the full bond amount.

Instead of posting bail out of your pocket, use the bail bond services we offer at Apex Bail Bonds. With this service, we will post bail on behalf of the defendant and secure their release.

Our bail hotline is available 24/7. If the police arrested someone close to you, speak to one of our bail bondsmen now.

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