People often ask “what is the difference between bond vs bail” and “Why should I pay a bail bondsman a 10% fee for a bail bond if I have the money to put up for a cash bond?” That’s a good question. In the old days, when a person deposited the bond amount in cash, all of the money was returned to the depositor when the case was over.
If you are arrested in one county for charges out of a different county, you can certainly bond out, as long as the warrant has a bond on it set by a judge who issued the warrant from the county where the charges originate. The jail staff where the person is being held on the out-of-county charge will take and process bonds from a licensed bail agent, just like they would accept bonds for local in-county charges.
Why should you use caution when choosing a bondsman? These are some examples of the shady things a few of my competitors have done in the past few years:
If you want to visit an inmate in the Alachua County Jail, you must either schedule a visit 24 hours in advance by going to the Alachua County Jail Visitation Scheduling App or by going to the jail lobby and scheduling a visit using one of the kiosks in the lobby.
To find out if an individual is in the Alachua County Jail in Gainesville, or to find out what the charges are and how much the bonds are, click here and enter the person’s name. If you’re not sure how to spell the person’s name, click on “List of all inmates,” which will list all currently incarcerated people in alphabetical order. You can also view the incarcerated person’s jail mugshot on this site.
In Florida, when a person is arrested, they are taken before a judge at a hearing called “first appearance.” This usually happens within 24 hours of arrest. At this hearing, the judge can either set a bond, can deny a bond or can change the amount of a bond. (this is also the hearing where most public defender appointments occur, assuming the defendant qualifies for one).What if you want to bond someone out of jail, but their bond is too large?
Know what your obligations and risks are before you co-sign on a bail bond. Co-signing on a bond is not like writing a letter of recommendation for an individual–it carries a real financial risk to the signer. You are guaranteeing an accused defendant’s appearance in court, for each and every court date that the person is required to make, until the charges against that defendant are terminated.