Frequently Asked Questions

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In short, Bail is that part of our legal system that allows an accused person to be temporarily released from custody so they can continue their lives while they prepare for their day in court. In criminal cases, it is a sum of money, real property or surety bond that needs to be posted by or on behalf of a defendant to guarantee their appearance in court. The right to reasonable Bail is guaranteed to you in the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

The court system will set the amount of bail required for the defendant’s release. Under state law, a surety company can provide a type of insurance policy or “bond” that guarantees payment of the full bail amount to the court if the defendant does not show up for all scheduled appearances. These bonds are offered by licensed bail bond agencies. For supplying these bonds, bail agencies charge a premium – a percentage of the total bond amount, typically 10%. By way of example, for a bond amount set at $50,000, the premium would be about $5,000 plus any additional fees required by the state. The bail agency must charge the premium rate it has filed with the Department of Banking and Insurance. Once the defendant is released, the premium is not refundable.

A bail bond is a financial guarantee made by or on behalf of a criminal defendant that is used to guarantee their appearance in court through the end of their trial upon release from custody. Failure by the defendant to appear will result in a bond forfeiture.

The bond amount is the full amount of the bail that was set by the court. The premium is the dollar amount owed to the bail agency for posting the bond. Usually this premium is 10% of the bond amount.

For example, if the bond amount is $50,000, the premium owed would be $5,000.

An indemnitor/guarantor is the person(s) willing to be responsible for the defendant while they are out on bail and co-assumes financial liability to guarantee the full bond amount.

A bail bond is exonerated when the legal process/trial has finished. It does not matter whether the defendant is found guilty or innocent or the case has been dismissed. At this point, the liability for the bond amount is discharged. However and any unpaid premium, fees or charges incurred by the bail agency on your behalf are still owed to that agency.

Bail bond forfeiture results when a court appearance is missed. If a defendant misses a court date, a bench warrant is issued for their arrest. The court also sets a deadline for when either the defendant must be located/returned to custody or the bail bond “reinstated” or the bail amount must be paid to the court. In the State of New Jersey it’s 75 days. (NO EXCEPTIONS)

A summary judgment is issued by the court following a bond forfeiture. This is a judgment against the surety for payment of the bond amount. The summary judgment is issued because the deadline for reinstating the bond or returning the defendant to custody has passed.

This is a process by which a defendant who has experienced a bail bond forfeiture can have their bench warrant removed and the bail bond re-activated or “reinstated” with the court. This is a legal proceeding that usually requires action by an attorney and could result in fees being paid by the bail bond agency. These fees are, in turn, passed along to the defendant/indemnitors. Due to the time it takes for the courts to process these fees and the billing time.

A surety bond, commonly known as a bail bond, is a contract between an agent licensed in New Jersey and the signer or co-signers, as a guarantee that the defendant will appear for scheduled New Jersey court appearances. In the event of failure to appear, sometimes called a “skip”, the signers of the bail contract agree to pay the court the full amount of the bond. For our services, the defendant is charged a percentage of the bail amount.

Upon being released, the defendant, a relative or a friend of the family typically contacts a bail agent to arrange for the posting of bail. Prior to the posting of a bail bond, the defendant or a co-signer must guarantee that they will pay the full amount of bail if the defendant does not appear in court. If the defendant “skips”, the co-signer is immediately responsible for the full amount of the bail. If the defendant is located and arrested by the bail enforcement agent the cosigner is responsible for all expenses the bail enforcement agent incurs while looking for the defendant. After an agreement is reached, the bail bondsman posts a bond for the amount of the bail, to guarantee the defendant’s return to court.

Call our office today at 973-359-1000 to speak with a New Jersey bail agent. Our staff will be required to collect some personal information about you such as your full name, your date of birth, work history, relationship to the defendant, etc. This takes about 10-15 minutes to complete over the phone. At that time we can let you know if you are a qualified co-signer. If you do qualify we will need some more information on the defendant such as full legal name, date of birth, Arresting Agency, Charges, and the bail amount.

As a co-signer you are providing a written guarantee to the bond company that you will see to it that the defendant appears in court every time they are so ordered by the court. It is also required that the defendant call into the office weekly to check in and provide the bondsman with their court dates. As soon as the defendant has satisfied the court and the case has been resolved, you the co-signer are no longer liable for the bond. And the defendant is no longer required to check in.

Generally the defendant is released with in 2-3 hours after the bond has been posted. It can take longer at times. However the standard is 2-3 hours at the most.

No, the money that you put up for the bond is non-refundable. Once the bond is posted. The bond company earns the fee.

Disclaimer:  This information is issued as a public education service by 1st Class Bail Bonds NJ and does not constitute legal advice, which should only be given by your attorney. The contents of this post pertain only to the laws of the State of New Jersey