Frequently Asked Questions

We are asked a thousand and one different questions about what we do. Here are a few common ones.

A bail bond is a binding contract between a co-signer, a bail bond agency, the defendant, and the insurance company that will be underwriting the bond. The contract binds all parties and states that the defendant will comply with all of the court's requirements. In return for his or her compliance, the bail bond agency and the insurance company will post their bail and obtain their early release from jail.

The 8th Amendment of the Constitution gives every person in the country to post bail and obtain early release from jail as long as certain, explicit criteria are met. This allows the defendant to return home to their family and their job, giving them the ability to resume their day to day responsibilities. There are certain circumstances in which bail may be denied. If the defendant has been charged with a heinous crime, such as capital murder, bail may be set extremely or denied altogether. Other reasons that bail may be withheld is if the defendant is a flight risk or the judge believes he is a danger to himself or others.

When used together bail bond refers to the contract that is signed to obtain a defendant's early release. On their own, they have distinct meanings. Bail is the term given to the amount of money needed to obtain the defendant's release from jail. It is set by the judge or magistrate and must be in full or, if a surety bond is used, 10% of the total bail amount can obtain the release of the defendant. The bond is the what is posted to obtain the release of the defendant. The bond is posted either at the court or the jail. Once it is started, the release process will begin.

After a person has been arrested, they will be held for arraignment in front of either a judge or magistrate. The officiate will set the bail according to the charge and the seriousness of the offense. Once bail has been announced, the co-signer can either post the bail bond in full, or they can hire a bail bond agency to post the bond for them. An application must be filled out and approved by the insurance company. As soon as the application is approved, the bail bond agency must collect the 10% premium and any fees attached. When the bail bond is secured, the bail bonds agent will go to the jail and retrieve the defendant.

Bail is determined by the charges pending against the defendant. The judge or magistrate will take into consideration the nature of the charges, their severity, if there are any extenuating circumstances (weapons or gun-related), and the defendants past criminal history. The officiate will also determine whether or not the defendant has close to ties to the community and whether they pose any type of flight risk.

In Virginia both judges and magistrates have the ability to set a defendant's bail. A magistrate is able to set bail for lesser charges. Individuals who have been charged with misdemeanors and have no prior criminal history will be sent in front of a magistrate. Judges will set the bail for individuals who have been charged with felonies, have extensive criminal histories, pose a possible flight risk have exhibited dangerous behaviors.

In most situations, you do not have to be present to fill out the bail application and get the bail bond process started. The application can be filled out over the phone and the bail bond can be secured with a payment made on a credit or debit card.

As soon as the application has been approved and secured, the bail bonds agent can go to the jail and post the bond. The amount of time the release process takes at the jail will vary according to the time of day, the number of staff on hand, and if it's a holiday. The release process can take anywhere from 2 to 12 hours depending on the size of the facility.

If the defendant does not apply with the court's requirements and fails to appear at their scheduled court hearing, they are said to have skipped bail. If it is a simple misunderstanding, a phone call to the court may be able to resolve the situation. If the defendant has no intention of appearing or abiding by the court's requirements, the end result will be much more serious. As soon as it is determined that the defendant is not at their court hearing, the judge will issue a warrant for their arrest. If they are not returned to the jail within 60 days, their bail is revoked and their bond is due and owing. The co-signer at that time, will be required to pay the bond in full.

A bond forfeiture occurs when the defendant has skipped bail and is not returned to the jail in a timely fashion. When a forfeiture occurs, the bail bonds agency must pay the entire bond amount to the court. Per the bail bond application, the bail bonds agency will then turn to the co-signer to be reimbursed for their potential loss.

A defendant's bond can be revoked in two ways. A judge can revoke a defendant's bond if they commit another crime or are caught trying to leave the court's jurisdiction. The second way a bond can be revoked is if the co-signer chooses to no longer be responsible for the defendant's obligations. In either situation, the bond is revoked and the defendant is returned to jail to wait until their court date.

In Virginia, there are different types of bail bonds. They include: 

  • ROR – A person who has been released on their own recognizance, or ROR, is not a flight risk and the charges pending against him are minor.
  • Pledge of Property – A pledge of property bond requires the use of property as collateral to secure the bail bond and obtain the person's release from jail.
  • Secured/Surety – A secured or surety bond is one that is secured through a contract. A 10% premium is attached and the bail bonds agency agrees to cover the rest as long as the defendant maintains their end of the contract.
  • Unsecured/Promise to Appear – An unsecured or promise to appear bond is used when the defendant meets the criteria put in place by the court. They must have strong ties to the community, stable employment, and minor charges. 

If you have any questions concerning what type of bail bond is being discussed in a defendant's case call one of our reputable bail bonds agents at County Bail Bonds. Call our office at 703-879-8115 and we will answer all of your bail bonds questions!

No. The premium is set by the state and is mandated as non-negotiable and non-refundable. The only time a co-signer will get money back is if the amount paid to post the bond exceeded the 10% premium and the cost of the fees.

If money is paid over and above the 10% mandated by the state, the court will take out any fees, penalties and restitution funds before returning the remainder over to the co-signer. Once all of the fees and monies have been paid, it can take up to 60 days for the co-signer to receive the remainder of the bond money.

If you have any further questions concerning bail and how it is set, please call our offices today at 703-879-8115 and talk to one of our reputable agents. At County Bail Bonds, we are here to make sure you have all of the information you need to make a wise choice when it comes to any bail bond situation.

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