The legal system in the United States operates differently for minors than it does for adults. When it comes to bail, the process is also different. Bail bonds for minors are subject to specific rules and regulations designed to protect the young person's rights and welfare. This article will discuss how the bail bond process differs for minors and what parents or guardians should know if their child is arrested.
What is Bail?
Bail is an amount of money that is paid to the court to secure a release from jail while the trial is pending. The judge sets the bail amount, which is determined by various factors, such as the severity of the crime, the likelihood of the defendant showing up to court, and the defendant's criminal record.
The bail bond process involves a bail bond agent who pays the full bail amount on behalf of the defendant. The defendant must then pay the bondman a percentage of the bail amount as a fee. The fee is usually 10% of the bail amount and is non-refundable. If the defendant fails to show up to court, the bail bond agent can hire a bounty hunter to find and bring the defendant back to court.
The Bail Bond Process for Adults
When an adult is arrested, they are taken to jail and booked. The judge then sets a bail amount based on the severity of the crime and the defendant's criminal history. If the defendant cannot afford to pay the full bail amount, they can either remain in jail until their trial or use a bail bond company to secure their release.
To obtain a bail bond, the defendant or their loved ones must pay a non-refundable fee to a bail bond company, usually 10% of the total bail amount. The bail bond company then posts a bond with the court, guaranteeing that the defendant will appear for their trial. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bond company is responsible for paying the full bail amount.
The Bail Bond Process for Minors
When it comes to minors, the bail process is slightly different. Minors are defined as individuals under the age of 18. The primary difference is that the bail amount for minors is usually lower than that for adults. The court considers the minor's age, the nature of the crime, and the minor's prior record when setting the bail amount.
Additionally, minors are not allowed to post bail on their own. They must have a parent or legal guardian post bail for them. This is because minors are not legally responsible for their actions in the same way that adults are, and the court wants to ensure that the minor has the support and guidance of an adult.
The bail bond process for minors is also different. Bail bond agents are not allowed to negotiate fees with minors or use aggressive tactics to get the minor or their family to pay the fee. This is because minors are considered vulnerable, and the court wants to ensure they are not taken advantage of by unscrupulous bail bondsmen.
The Role of Parents or Guardians
As mentioned, parents or guardians are responsible for posting bail for minors. They must sign the bail bond agreement and pay the fee to the bail bondsman. However, they should understand the implications of posting bail for their child before doing so.
Firstly, posting bail does not guarantee that the minor will be released. The judge may decide that the minor is a flight risk or a danger to the community and may deny bail. Additionally, if the minor fails to show up to court, the parents or guardians will be responsible for paying the full bail amount to the bail bondsman.
Secondly, parents or guardians must understand that by posting bail, they are assuming responsibility for their child's actions if the child violates the terms of their release or commits another crime while out on bail, the parents or guardians may face legal consequences.
Finally, parents or guardians must be prepared to support their child emotionally and financially throughout the trial process. The legal system can be overwhelming for anyone, and minors may need extra support to navigate the process.
The bail bond process for minors is different from that for adults. Minors are not allowed to post bail on their own, and the bail amount is usually lower than that for adults. Additionally, bail bond agents are not allowed to negotiate fees with minors or use aggressive tactics to get them to pay the fee. Parents or guardians are responsible for posting bail for minors and must understand the implications of doing so. By posting bail, they are assuming responsibility for their child's actions and must be supported throughout the trial process. Parents or guardians must seek legal advice if their child is arrested to ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities.