If you know anything about bail bonds, it is that they are a useful tool for people awaiting trials so that they can go back to their lives and jobs after an arrest until the trial. Bail bondsmen are therefore an important cog in the complex machine that is our legal system.
However, this all applies largely to the citizens of the US. So, what happens to the immigrants who find themselves in the same situation? As a matter of fact, there is – an immigrant bail bond. Here’s what Bail Co Bail Bonds experts have to say about this type of bail bonds.
What Are Immigrant Bail Bonds?
Just as the name suggests, immigrant bail bonds are bonds available to immigrants who have been arrested by law enforcement officers in the United States, but who aren’t citizens of the U.S.. Whether they are illegal immigrants, or in the process of gaining citizenship, if they are arrested for a crime, they are not entitled to a regular bail bond.
Instead, there is a specialized type of bail bonds. Unlike most regular bail bonds, immigrant bail bonds are federal, meaning they are paid directly to the federal government.
Who Sets the Bail Bond Amount?
In simplest cases, the bail amount will be set by an immigration judge. However, it is possible that the whole process will be a bit more complicated and prolonged. An immigrant may be taken to an interview with a deportation officer. In that case, the bail amount will be set by the Department of Homeland Security.
There is no fixed amount which is used, so the bail bonds can vary drastically. This is typically the reason why most people don’t find someone to pay the full bail amount and opt to go through a bail bondsman agency.
How Immigrant Bonds Work
Immigrant bonds purchased from a bail bonding agency are a contract signed between the bail bonding agency (they are the ones putting up the majority of the money for the bond), the Department of Homeland Security (they are the ones asking for money as an assurance that the arrested person will comply with their obligations), and the Principal (the defendant who is getting released on the provision that they return when the contract requires them to).
The defendant agrees to appear each time they are asked (the so-called Notice to Appear or NTA). The co-signer of the bail is also contractually obligated to ensure that the defendant follows these rules or they risk losing the money they put up for bail.
How Are Immigrant Bail Bonds Obtained
The simplest way to explain immigrant bail bonds is to say that they are a form of a surety bonds – that is, a small fee is paid upfront in order to get a bond, but the bond is backed up by a collateral. Seeing how the defendant is an immigrant, they do not have the right to obtain a bond. That’s why these bonds are generally paid for by friends or family who are full citizens.
This collateral is more often than not a real estate, meaning a house or some other property. However, it is possible to use alternative forms of collateral such as credit cards.
Once all the relevant information is gathered and the fee is paid, the bail bonding agency can finish the paperwork and post the bail within several hours, meaning it is possible to complete the whole process from start to finish in a single day.
Bail bonds are an important mechanism helping people fight for their rights, whether they are full American citizens or immigrants coming to this great country fighting for a better future.