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Bail Basics: FAQ’s about Bail in New Jersey

bail questionsIf you don’t know what bail is and how it works, or if you’ve only heard the term on Law & Order or another crime show, it is time to read up on this very important part of the judiciary system. We’ve compiled a few frequently asked questions about the basics of bail in New Jersey:

What is bail?

Bail is a kind of collateral, like money or a bail bond, provided to the court on behalf of a jailed defendant. The judge sets a specific bail amount, and if the set bail is paid, the defendant is granted freedom but must return to court on his or her required dates. If all required court dates are met, then the bail is returned to whoever posted it. It is designed to ensure the defendant appears in court, but if he or she fails to attend required court dates, then the court collects the bail and issues an arrest for the defendant.

How is the bail amount determined?

The judge considers many factors including the criminal history and charges against the defendant when setting a bail amount. Some of the factors are as follows:

  • How serious the charge is
  • The likelihood of conviction
  • The potential sentence if convicted
  • Any criminal history of the defendant
  • The defendant’s connections to the community
  • How dangerous the defendant is
  • If the defendant has missed court dates before

Off of these factors and many others, the judge decides how much the bail will be and how the bail will be paid.

What types of bail are there?

There are many ways bail can be paid and it is up to the judge to decide what type is set for a defendant. Cash only bail is self-explanatory—the full amount must be paid in cash. There is also an option called cash with 10 percent where only 10 percent of bail needs to be posted, but it must be in cash. The other 90 percent doesn’t need to be posted unless the defendant skips his or her court dates.

There is a form of bail release that requires no money or bond, just a promise: When a defendant is “Released on Own Recognizance” they do not have to post money, but they do sign a written promise to appear in court on the scheduled dates.

What if I can’t post my bail?

Bail bonds are an alternative if the defendant is unable to post bail on their own. The defendant pays a non-refundable fee for a licensed bondsman to post a surety bond with the court. Defendants who choose not to hire a bondsman and remain unable to post bail have to stay in jail while the charges go through court.

For respected, professional, and licensed bondsmen in New Jersey, contact Chance BailBonds. We offer bail services throughout the state and have your best interests in mind. Call us today 732-984-4101.

Is Bail Bonds Information Public in New Jersey?

The bail bonds process can be a complicated one, especially for the person put in the tricky position of having to get someone out of jail. If you ever need to bail someone out of jail, there are a few things you’re probably wondering, and that you should definitely know before you make any final decisions.

Is Bail Bonds Information Public in New Jersey?

First, bail bonds information is available to the public in New Jersey and elsewhere.

Are Bail Bonds Public Records in NJ?

If you’ve paid someone’s bail, you name is probably in there somewhere.

That is, if you pay bail directly to the government in order to secure the release of your friend or family member, the general information about the transaction will be a matter of the court record. Anyone with any reason to look would therefore be able to get the name of the person who filed bail from a local or county clerk’s office.

If you’re uncomfortable with this, or don’t want your name associated with an accused criminal, one solution is to use a licensed bail bonds company, such as Chance BailBonds in Freehold. When a bond company is used, only their name is one the court records for the case. Because the bail bonds company is private, it’s therefore not subject to the same rules or transparency in its transactions as the government. Privacy laws and professional codes of ethics prevent bail bonds companies from disclosing the name of any person posting bond through their services.

What responsibilities will you have if you post bail?

That said, whether you post bail directly or through a bondsman, you are ultimately responsible for the other party. In other words, if they don’t show up for court, you’re responsible. In New Jersey that means you forfeit what you put up for bond. If you used a bail bondsman, you may be responsible for Exterior Storefront of a Bail Bonds Company in New Jersey at Nighttracking that person down, or covering the portion of the bail initially put up by the bond company.

Again, bail bonds can be a complicated and often frightening process. If you need a reputable bail bonds company in the state of New Jersey call Chance BailBonds. Offering bail services across the state, including Trenton, Freehold, Atlantic City, and more, Chance is dedicated to treating you with dignity and keeping you informed every step of the way. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Chance BailBonds

(732) 984-4101

New Jersey and Baltimore Police Warn of Alliance between Bloods and Crips

Amid chaotic protests surrounding the death of Freddie Grey in Baltimore, law enforcement officials have issued a warning for cops across the country to be on guard.

On April 27, the day the turmoil in Baltimore came to a head, the Baltimore Police Department issued a press release declaring that their Criminal Intelligence Unit had “received credible information that members of various gangs including the Black Guerilla Family, Bloods, and Crips have entered into a partnership to ‘take-out’ law enforcement officers.”

New Jersey Protests

Protests in Baltimore

The memo emphasizes that the threat is credible, and requests that the information be distributed to the public and law enforcement agencies nationwide. Whether this request was made because the Baltimore police believe that the alleged alliance is national in scope or due to a desire for broad awareness of the situation in Baltimore is unknown.

In either case, the New Jersey State Fraternal Order of Police is erring on the side of caution, and has issued a memo for New Jersey police officers to be on guard, citing the Baltimore Police’s warning.

The memo, issued on Facebook, warns “all of our members to continue to be vigilant and ever aware of your surroundings during your tour of duty.”

The memo continues, “it may be prudent to use extra caution while off duty, especially if wearing police/union related clothing or apparel, which would identify you as a LEO at a time when you are alone, or with your family and without your vest or other defensive gear.”

While news media in Baltimore have reported that local gangs deny making any such pact against law enforcement, the memos from law enforcement are indicative of high levels of tension between cops and protestors, in Baltimore and across the country.

Given the proximity of New Jersey to Baltimore, and the high rate of complaints against police in places like Atlantic City, it’s not unthinkable for similar protests or riots to occur in the Garden State. Of course, all residents hope in earnest that peace and order remain constant, the situation in Baltimore proves that this is not always the case.

If you’re a resident of Freehold, Ocean County, Toms River, Trenton, Atlantic City, or anywhere else in New Jersey, and you get stuck in a situation similar to what’s happening in Baltimore, it’s entirely possible that you could end up in jail just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If this happens, call Chance BailBonds at (877) 647-5731. We’ll get you out of jail quickly and easily, no questions asked.

New Jersey Legislator Passes Bill to Criminalize Car Insurance Fraud

If you live in New Jersey, you’ve no doubt noticed the number of cars with out-of-state license plates in driveways and parked on the street. You’re not imagining it, and it’s not an accident – New Jersey has an extremely high rate of insurance fraud, and now the state government is ready to crack down.

New Jersey drivers pay an average of $1,219 annually for their car insurance, which is the highest rate in the entire country. That’s why a growing number of car owners get their vehicles registered in cheaper states like Pennsylvania or Maryland, to dodge Jersey’s premiums and save a buck or two in the process. The problem? The practice, known as “phantom garaging” takes money out of the insurance companies’ pockets, and leaves it to the more honest New Jersey drivers to pick up the slack, in essence subsidizing the fraud.

Last week, at the urging of a group called the Coalition Against Insurance

Insurance Fraud

His car was registered at his brother’s house in Allentown.

Fraud, the state legislature passed a bill (A-2281) that would make false vehicle registration into an official insurance crime.

“Turning premium dodging into an insurance crime would add enforcement teeth to New Jersey’s efforts to clamp down on rate evasion.” said Howard Goldblatt of the Coalition, “The stronger likelihood of a criminal conviction also could help deter others from making the mistake of defrauding their auto insurer.”

The bill was supported by a grassroots campaign organized by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, including a letter-writing effort and a testimony before a state legislative committee.

A-2281 passed the Senate 38-0 and was approved 72-0 by the Assembly – now all it needs is the Governor’s signature to become a law.

If signed into law, the bill would mean that so-called “phantom garaging” would qualify as a violation of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act, and those convicted could receive fines of up to $150,000 and face as much as 10 years in state prison.

So consider yourself warned, insurance fraudsters: get your insurance square, or be prepared to face the consequences.

If you find yourself in trouble with any law in the state of New Jersey, be sure to call Chance BailBonds for fast, confidential, 24/7 bail bonds service.