Bail is money paid to the court to ensure that an arrested person who is released from jail will show up at all required court appearances.
After a person is arrested, it will be taken before a District Court commissioner who determines if probable cause exists to charge him/her. The commissioner:
- ensures that the person understands the charges against him/her and the possible penalties,
- advises him/her of the right to an attorney,
- advises him/her of the responsibilities in obtaining an attorney,
- decides whether the person should be detained or released pending trial,
- and determines whether bail should be set.
- A person over 18 years old can post a bail on his or her behalf or use a bondsman.
- The person who posts a bail assumes full responsibility for his/ her appearance in court.
- If the person on bail fails to appear as required, a warrant will immediately be issued for arrest and the bail will be cancelled.
OBTAINING A BAIL
- Bail By Giving Cash Deposits
- Every bond that is set at $2,500 or less may be posted with a cash deposit of ten percent (10%).
- The person posting cash bail is liable for the full amount. The amount is refunded if the person appears for trial or the charges are disposed of before trial.
- If the person does not appear, all cash posted will be forfeited and the full amount of bail becomes due.
- Bail By Giving Property Security
- The property (e.g. land or home) in Maryland may be used to post bail, if the net equity in the property meets or exceeds the amount of bail.
- The net equity may be determined after deducting any liens, mortgages or deeds of trust, and ground rent, capitalized at 6 percent, from the assessed value of the property.
- It is essential to produce tax bills, assessment notices, and copies of a recorded deed or other public records.
- A person whose name appears on the tax bill must sign the form.
- Bail Through Deposit of Intangible Assets
- An intangible asset may be used for posting a bail. The acceptable intangible assets include:
- Bankbooks and certificates of deposit accepted at 100 percent of stated value,
- Letters of credit from a bank,
- Certificates for stocks listed on the American or New York Stock Exchange, accepted at 75 percent of the present exchange quotation.
- A clerk of the court where the case is pending may accept intangible assets.
- Bail By Producing Credit and Debit Cards
- Bail may be charged on certain credit and debit cards.
- A commissioner or clerk accepts the card and an independent company processes the charge.
- The charge includes the amount of the bail and a service fee.
- The card and personal identification must be produced in person at the time of posting bail.
- Bail By A Professional Bail Bondsman
- A bail bondsman charges a non refundable fee to post bail and the fee may also include collateral security or property to secure the release.
- The collateral security will be returned to the person who posted it after disposition of the charges.
- The service fee and collateral received shall be displayed on the bail bond form to make certain that the information is correct on the form that the person receive a receipt and that he understands the action, the bondsman may take if the person fails to meet the obligations.