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According to the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, a “bail authority” (judge with jurisdiction) has discretion to set bail, in various forms, after careful consideration of statutory factors, to ensure that a criminally accused will appear at all subsequent proceedings and comply with the conditions of bail. Typically, bail is set by a Magisterial District Justice (MDJ) at a preliminary arraignment. If the terms of bail are not met, the criminally accused is committed to the local county prison to await trial. If bail is posted, then the criminally accused is released from law enforcement or prison custody.
When bail requires a pledge of monetary security (cash), the sum can exceed what an interested party can pay in full. This is where the trusted advice of Mitch and his staff is helpful. In exchange for a premium payment, calculated as an approved percentage of the full amount of bail, and a pledge of indemnity, a bail agent can post a bond to secure a criminally accused’s release. Call Mitch’s Bail Bonds and let us hold your hand through this difficult process.
Do you have a loved one that has been arrested? Need Bail? Call Mitch: (855) 711-BAIL (2245).
Below are some common questions and answers that we receive regarding bail bonds. If you have a specific quesion that isn’t addressed here, please feel free to call us at (855) 711-2245 or email us at email@example.com.
A bail bond is a financial guarantee made by a surety bail bonds agent to the courts that enables pre-trial release of a criminally accused. In exchange for the release from police custody or imprisonment, the criminally accused must acknowledge any bail conditions established by the “bail authority” (judge with jurisdiction). The financial guarantee of the bail bond is attached to the criminally accused’s promise to appear at all future-court proceedings scheduled in his/her criminal case.
A bail bond agent will assume liability for an individual by executing a bail bond in exchange for the following:
Pennsylvania counties may create local rules that dictate permissible forms of payment. Generally, most counties permit bail bonds or collateral in the form of real property. In certain instances, a combination of the two is permissible as an alternative to posting straight cash. When attempting to post real property as collateral, the county clerk of courts or prothonotary dictates procedure. Typically, a process involving a title search, assessment and tax certification is involved before real property will be accepted as collateral.
Rule 600 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure dictates that a defendant, not subjected to pretrial incarceration, must be brought to trial (or enter a plea) within 365 days from the date on which the case is filed. This time frame can be delayed when a defendant requests delay or postponement in the proceedings or waives his/her Rule 600 rights for any other reason. A bail bondsman and a defendant make representation to the court that the defendant will appear at all required court proceedings. If the defendant is held to be responsible for any of his/her charges, after being called to trial or entering a plea, there will be a sentencing hearing. At the time of sentencing, the defendant transitions into the post-sentencing phase of the criminal case and is effectively “off bond.”
Regardless of the outcome of the criminal case, guilty or not guilty, the premium paid to a surety bail bondsman is nonrefundable once bail is formally posted with the county court. Cash bail, paid in full to the court without a surety bail bondsman’s assistance, can be partially refundable at the conclusion of a criminal case. However, be sure to check local rules or consult with our office on specific county procedures for retaining deposited bail funds.
At Mitch’s Bail Bonds, client convenience is one of our core values. We understand that helpful family and friends are sometimes situated far away from the location where our services are needed. Through the use of electronic means, we are more than happy to entertain necessary accommodations to assist in a time of need. Contact Mitch’s Bail Bonds for more information.
The Pennsylvania Association of Bail Agents (PABA) is a trade association comprised of bail agents and member surety companies.
PABA exists to enhance the bail bond agent profession in Pennsylvania; to advance it’s members’ interests while building public and private partnerships with local and state governments; to generate an effective communication network among bail bond agents; and to meet the continuing education needs of its members.
The early, positive impact of PABA should not distract from our persistent vigilance over local and national affairs capable of affecting our industry. It is vital that, through communication and education, we sustain our coalescence so we can continue to constructively build relationships and productively evolve our role within the criminal justice system. Please join the PABA today.
Mitch Mitchell, President