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  • How Does a Bail Bondsman Get You Out of Jail?

    local-bail-bondsmanThere are many people in the Irvine today who possibly have no concept, understanding or even knowledge of a bail bondsman, or what they do. For the majority of people, they will never need to get out of jail with the help of a company that does bail bonds in Irvine, but it doesn’t hurt to be informed and know at least a small part of the procedure, should you ever need to employ their services.

    What is a bail bondsman?

    According to Wikipedia, a bail bondsman is any person, agency or corporation that will act as a surety and pledge money or property as bail for the appearance of persons accused in court.

    How do bail bonds work?

    When someone is arrested and taken to jail, in most cases they are given the opportunity of bail. Bail is an amount of money, which the judge sets, which must be paid to ensure the release of that person, on the understanding that they will return to court as and when instructed. If they fail to appear in court, the bail money is then forfeited, so if you are asked by a friend or relative to provide bail money to ensure their release, make sure you are totally confident that they will turn up to court.

    Depending on the amount of the bail, the family and friends of the accused may struggle to find sufficient funds to pay the bail amount, and this is where a bail bondsman comes into play. A bail bondsman will pay the bail, although there will obviously be a price to pay for this service.

    If you are ever in the situation, a good rule of thumb is that the cost of getting your friend or family member bailed using the services of a bail bondsman will usually equate to about 10 percent of the total bail money. This can rise to as much as 20 percent, depending on which company you are dealing with.

    If your bail was set at 100,000 dollars, this would mean that to get things started you would need to pay the bail bondsman 10,000 dollars minimum. Regardless of the outcome of the legal case, and even if you are found to have been arrested illegally, the deposit, which in this case is 10,000 dollars is non-refundable. That is a bail bondsman’s business model, so make sure you understand this before signing on the dotted line.

    What if the defendant doesn’t show up for court?

    If the person on bail fails to turn up to court, then the bail bondsman will lose all of the bail money, at least temporarily. In the United States, it is legal for the Bail Bondsman to employ the services of a bounty hunter, to track down the bailed person and return them to the court. Normally once this has happened the judge will allow for the bail bondsman to get their money returned minus a fee.

    However, there is nothing to stop the bail bondsman then suing the subject of the bail for the additional costs of the bounty hunter. As you can imagine those costs can mount up rapidly, so think very carefully before doing anything stupid.

  • Do Divorce Papers Have to Be Served?

    We sought some answers to help us understand the early stages of a divorce by talking to BTR Law Firm about divorce papers.  Specifically, do these papers have to be delivered by a process server in the same manner as other court notices?

    filing-divorce-papersIf you have filed for divorce, then you do have a limited window in which to serve those papers to your spouse. That means the papers have to be handed to them to sign. Whether they sign them or not does not matter as far as that window is concerned.

    The law allows you 60 days to serve the papers to your spouse. Not everyone wants to serve the papers right away, because they may be hesitant to tell their spouse about the divorce proceedings, if the spouse has been left out of them. That’s typically why it would take someone more than a few days to serve such papers.

    If one spouse wants to stay married but the other does not, then serving the papers can cause conflict and an uncomfortable situation for both spouses. This generous window is provided to allow both parties to find a time that’s agreeable and convenient for the papers to be served.

    You can serve the papers either by hand or through certified mail with a return receipt. Either way allows you to know that they have been delivered successfully and provides proof that the courts may need in order to show the papers were served and that the other spouse was made aware of the divorce proceedings.

    You don’t have to hand the papers personally to your spouse, and in fact, you are not legally allowed to hand your spouse the papers. You actually have plenty of options when it comes to choosing a delivery person, as anyone who is 18 years or older can deliver them. They need to be delivered by hand, if they are being personally delivered.

    The papers need to be delivered directly to your spouse or to someone who lives with them and who you would be able to swear to the judge that you believe they live with them. That other person must be an adult, however.

    There is another exception to the delivery rule when it comes to who you can have the papers delivered to. If your spouse has authorized someone to receive the papers on their behalf, then the law allows for them to pick up the papers for your spouse. This could be someone at their work, such as a receptionist or secretary or a close friend. Proof of their authority to receive the papers may need to be shown in court.

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