Even if you have a general understanding of how bail bonds work, you may be unaware that there are various types of bail. You must know and comprehend all the options available if you need to post bail for a loved one.
More than two-thirds of the jail population spend time in prison because they cannot afford bail. Furthermore, not everyone knows that there is an option to get bail without paying – through unsecured bail.
But what is unsecured bail? And, more importantly, how do you make sure that your loved one continuously meets its requirements?
Read on to understand this type of bail in detail. You will also discover how it differs from the secured variety.
What is Unsecured Bail and How to Qualify
A person detained and held in jail after an arrest will usually have to remain there until the court gives the sentence. Within that period, the person has a chance to attend a bail hearing.
During the hearing, the judge will set the bail amount, which allows the person to live outside of the jail until the designated court date. However, not everyone has the financial means – and this is where unsecured bail comes in.
An unsecured bail bond is also known as a “signature bond”. They don’t have anything as security backing it up which will allow your loved one’s temporary release without having to pay with cash or real property.
Most people prefer this type of bail since it does not require any financial obligation. While unsecured bail is harder to come by, it is still an available option. People on bail will only have to honor their word and attend any required court appearances.
However, there is a considerable risk because a person out on unsecured bail can easily skip town. With no collateral to pay for their bails, there is less to lose.
Due to this, it is understandable that there are qualifications that a judge takes into consideration before granting unsecured bail. The defendant must meet these requirements:
- Must be credible enough to attend court hearings
- Must be a resident in the area for a long time
- Wrongdoings committed is not too serious
- Not deemed dangerous
- Have a good credit
The court will also look into other aspects, such as the person’s standing in the community and past offenses.
If your loved one is a juvenile, there is a better chance of obtaining an unsecured bail. However, you will need to sign documents to guarantee that your child will appear on all court dates.
Secured vs. Unsecured Bail Bonds
While unsecured bail may seem to be the ideal type, you should still consider all the factors mentioned above. If you find your child is less likely to qualify, another form of indemnification – secured bail – is also available.
A secured bail or secured surety bond is the opposite of unsecured in terms of financial obligation. When it comes to the secured bail bond, the lender or bondsman ensures he or she gets the money back. With this type, you will have to pay the amount upfront or come up with collateral, such as a house, valuable pieces of jewelry, a car, or a debit card. Furthermore, you will lose your collateral and forfeit your money if the person on bail fails to appear before the trial dates.
The main difference between a secured and an unsecured bail bond are the following:
- Speed: Secured bail offers faster processing compared to unsecured bail since there is no qualification process to go through. As soon as you pay the posted amount, your loved one can get out of jail and live outside while waiting for the court dates.
- Money: With unsecured bail, you will not need to shell out cash, but your loved one will need to pass the stringent requirements. You will need to consider the possibility of your child having to wait out in jail while the qualification process is in progress.
- Risk: Since money is on the line with secured bail, the risk is on you – even if you pay a bondsman. On the other hand, unsecured bail is riskier for the bail bond agency.
Choose the Best Type of Bail for the Situation
The variety of bails available can help you decide which one is right for your current situation. Applying for unsecured bail is an excellent option to consider, especially if you believe that your loved one will qualify for it.To discuss your various options for bail, contact us, and we will help you find the best solution.