In Florida State Court a monetary bond can be posted in one of two ways: Either in cash, in full, or vis-a-vis a surety / bail bonds agent. If you post a cash bond then the full amount of the bond must be deposited with the Jail or the Clerk (depending upon the protocol in your jurisdiction), and, assuming that the case is resolved without complication, the full amount of the bond will be returned to whomever posted it (the manner and time frame for bond refund will also vary from County to County but, by way of example, absent either an assignment or an estrateure, in Miami-Dade County a check will issue and be mailed to the person who posted the bond at the stated address, ands this usually takes 30 – 60 days to process). If you use a surety / / bail bonds agent then you only need to pay a 10% premium (which is the surety / / bail bonds agent’s non-refundable fee), although you may be called to collateralize the remaining 90% as a condition precedent to the bond being posted.
To illustrate the point let’s take the example of a $1,000.00 bond. You can either A) post $1,000.00 cash with the Jail (or the Clerk) or you can B) pay a surety / / bail bonds agent a $100.00 fee and have the bond posted. In the case of A) assuming that the case closes without any complications then you will get a check for $1,000.00 mailed to you sometime after the case has closed. In the case of B) you will pay $100.00 to the surety / bail bonds agent as a fee for services, you may or may not be called upon to collateralize the balance of the bond (i.e. the other $900.00) and if there is a problem (i.e. if the bond is estreated, if the Defendant skips town or picks up a new case) then you may be called upon to pay the balance (i.e. the other $900.00) to the surety / bail bonds agent. (For this reason many sureties / bail bonds agents do require collateralization as a condition of positing bond. But whether they do or they do not is their business decision and is not a concern of the Court.)
The purpose of bond is two-fold: A) to ensure the Defendant’s presence (to make sure that s/he does not flee and appears as directed) and B) to protect the community (to deter the Defendant from being arrested / committing new crimes while out on bond). If you are going to post a bond for someone then keep in mind that you are putting you dollars (or property) on the line in the hope that the person whom you are bonding out of jail will honor the two (2) purposes of her/his bond, and if s/he fails to do so then you are on the hook.
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