What conditions are considered in determining bail?

According to the West Virginia Criminal Code, §62-1C-1, (a) "A person arrested for an offense not punishable by life imprisonment be admitted to bail by the court or magistrate. A person arrested for an offense punishable by life imprisonment may, in the discretion of the court that will have jurisdiction to try the offense, be admitted to bail."

The severity of the crime, moral character of the accused, threat to society, and flight risk are all factors which a judge or magistrate considers in determining bail. 

Serving Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh, & Summers Counties

Why does a bondsman need collateral to get me out of jail?

A bondsman needs to secure collateral in order to minimize his or her own risk. When a bondsman bails a defendant out of jail, he or she is guaranteeing that should the defendant flee the court's jurisdiction that he or she will pay the total bond amount to the court.  Here is where collateral comes into play.

In order for a bondsman to confidently secure a bond, collateral must be used to minimize the bondsman's risk. If the defendant skips town and the bonsdman must pay the bond, he or she will have the collateral necessary to make up for the loss, proviiding that the bondsman is unable to track the defendant down and bring him or her back to jail. Collateral will not be touched unless all avenues to track the defendant down have been exhausted, but if all obligations with the court have been met, the defendant receives his or her collateral back. Since most people don't have the money, they go to a bondsman, or unless the court has ordered it. A bondsman takes on that risk for you for a fee, usually 10% of the bond. He or she guarantees that you will show up on all court dates; if not, the bondsman must pay the total bail amount to the court. 

Why do I need to pay a bondsman when I have enough cash to post a bond with the court? 

Simple: Because you might need that money to prepare for your case. Or, because the judge has deemed it necessary due to various factors of flight risk and public safety. Nevertheless. if you deposit a huge sum of cash into the court system, that cash is tied up for the duration of the case, which could take years to decide, and it could be unavailable even months after the case has ended. 

With a bondsman, there is much more flexibility regarding your hard-earned money. If you have used cash as collateral to secure your bond, and you need that money, an exchange of collateral is permitted if you need to pay legal fees and court costs. 

How does the bail bond process work?

1.  Defendant is arrested and if the accused crime is a non-capital offense and the accused is not a threat to the public, bail is usually granted.

2. Defendant calls attorney, family member, or friend for help. In addition, West Virginia state law requires the jailor or court official to furnish the accused with an alphabetical list of all registered bondsmen in the county in which he or she was arrested. 

3. Defendant, family member, or attorney calls bondsman.

4. Bondsman requires collateral and a premium from defendant or co-signer and secures bond. 

5. Bond is posted. Bondsman visits jail and posts bond.

6. Defendant is released. Court date is set.

7. Defendant makes court appearance. 

8. Collateral is released and the bond is exonerated. 

9. File is now closed.


What types of collateral are accepted and how much is necessary?

Real estate, vehicles and sometimes cash are the most common forms of collateral. Usually, a bondsman requires that collateral cover most of the total bond amount.

Bargain Bail Bonds

How long does it take to be released from jail?

I depends. The bondsman has only a small amount of control over the time frame in which someone is released. Ultimately, once the bondsman writes the bond with the court, it's sent to the jail. Thus, it's up to the jail's time-frame to release some one. However, it usually takes 2-4 hours, if not sooner and generally always within the time of day in which the bond is written. 

What is a bail bond?

Basically, it is a promissory note that something will be done in the future; It's an insurance policy that some obligation will be met in the future. In this case, it's a guarantee issued by a bail bondsman stating that the defendant whom he or she has bailed out of jail will follow all directives from the court and show up on all court appearances, or the bondsman will pay the bail amount.

What is a bondsman?

A bondsman takes on risk for you for a fee, usually 10% of the bail bond. He or she guarantees that a defendant will show up on all court dates; if not, the bond will be forfeited and the bondsman will have to pay the total bail amount to the court. 

In order to avoid such a loss, the bondsman himself will track the defendant down, or he or she will hire a bail enforcement agent (i.e., bounty hunter).