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What happens if your charged with theft?

theft from an unwitting person

How bad is a theft charge?

Theft can be a small crime like a pack of gum from the local convenience store. Or theft can be monumental, like car theft. Either way, it is breaking the law, but is theft civil or criminal?  In Virginia, theft is referred to as larceny, and the property involved in the larceny or theft charges law is what determines if it is a civil matter or criminal matter and the theft charges by amount will determine the punishment. 

For clarification, larceny and theft are interchangeable in their meaning and the results. Theft is the process of taking property not yours to permanently deprive the true owner of the property. This usually is money or personal belongings, not larger things like real estate or vehicles. 

In the state of Virginia, where larceny and theft are one in the same, we will refer to larceny as theft going forward.  There are three levels of theft in Virginia, one is petit theft, where the object in question has a value under $1,000. Then there is grand theft, where the object in question has a value over $1,000. The third level of theft is shoplifting, which has its own level of punishment. 

The punishment for each of these crimes is as follows in addition to a fine of $2,500 per charge: 

  • Grand Theft: A Class U Felony with a possible 20-years of incarceration for theft over $1,000 or if the theft was from a person where bodily contact was made, the value of $5 and over. 
  • Petit Theft: A Class I misdemeanor that is punished by maximum of 12 months incarcerated for a value theft under $1,000. 
  • Shoplifting: If the stolen merchandise were concealed, the accused could face Grand Theft  if the value is over $1,000 with the same possible punishment. Same if under $1,000 value, the accused could face the same punishment as with Petit Theft. 

Do you go to jail for first time theft?

Grand theft is a serious crime regardless the monetary value, and as such, in most cases, the accused will be sentence to jail for a period of time. A first time offender facing grand theft should not assume they will receive easy punishment or reduced charges. 

The accused will face a trial with a judge and with their attorney’s guidance, may plead Not Guilty, and leave it to the attorney to negotiate the punishment. Like all criminal cases resulting in arrest, theft charges bail amount is determined at the judge’s discretion and handed down during arraignment. The defendant’s attorney may request a lower bail amount along with the intention of requesting lesser charges. 

Can I go to jail for stealing from work?

You could, there are several variables that will make that determination. What  is the punishment for stealing money from work? You know that stealing is bad, no matter from where you steal or what you stole but stealing paper clips from work is a lot different than stealing money. 

Not only are you at risk of losing your job, but any future employment could also be impacted as well, and then there is the possibility of facing criminal charges. So, for the sake of this article, let’s say you stole $20 from the cash drawer because you’re short on money until payday. That kind of theft could possibly be explained with an apology offered. Your boss may look the other way with a stern reprimand, but you’ll likely lose their trust for a long time. 

If you stole a sizeable amount of money, that is going to have some serious consequences, starting with being fired for gross misconduct. At the very least, you could be suspended without pay and the company investigate the matter to see if there is any other possible thefts. If there are, come clean now could be to your advantage, but most likely, you’re fired is probably the end result. 

So, could you be arrested? Absolutely, if your employer presses charges, you could face theft charges. In Virginia, depending on the amount, it could be Petit Theft or Grand Theft. With this, you’ll have legal fees, fines, and possibility of time behind bars. 

The first thing you should do is hire a criminal attorney, especially if you know that these the matter is theft false charges you’re being wrongly accused .Your attorney will represent you, hopefully to resolve the matter out of court, or if the employer insists on taking  you to court, the attorney will research the case for evidence against you and represent you accordingly. 

If the charges by your employer are correct and your attorney agrees, you may show your willingness to repay your employer and accept the consequences. That may keep them from making a legal case from the situation. 

police car

What evidence is needed for theft?

A prosecutor’s primary job, other than having you convicted of theft, is to prove the case. They must prove to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt, that you took something not belonging to you. The value of the object is not a concern during this part of the case, that will come forth with sentencing. 

If the theft is shoplifting for example, the victim, i.e. the store, will need provide the prosecutor their evidence. With most stores today, video surveillance is usually their evidence. They can also use eyewitness, which could be an employee or a security guard. In shoplifting cases, it can also be they found the item(s) in question on your person. In that case of evidence, they will need one or more employees witness the removal of the item(s) from your person and if you don’t have a receipt or there is not video showing you were checked out a register, that is usually sufficient evidence of theft.

Theft is a serious matter, and a person that is habitually stealing, when caught and arrested, the judge may order professional help be sought such as counseling. No matter the value of the item(s) stolen, if this counseling can reduce your punishment, it is in your best interest to follow through with the time, as it may help you more than you realize you need. Need help with theft bail in Halifax, VA, Danville, VA, and Chatham, VA? Call 434-237-2245 today.

Do You Automatically Go to Jail for Violating Probation?

A Probation Violation Hearing.

Do you automatically go to jail for violating probation?

If you’ve committed a probation violation, you might spend some time in jail just after your arrest. This often depends on the circumstances. With a first-time violation, depending upon how serious it is, you might just get a warning, whereas second or subsequent violations could land you back in jail or result in your probation being extended.

When jailed on a violation of probation, you are not entitled to bond. So, it’s up to the judge to grant a bond so you can get out of jail. This will be determined at a bond hearing. As with other bond cases, the judge will weigh the situation and evidence to determine if you receive bond or not. If you’ve completed most of your terms of probation, the judge might determine this is only a technical violation and set bond. If no bond is set you’ll remain in jail until your probation violation hearing. When bond has been set and you need help with probation violation bail in Halifax, VA, Danville, VA, and Chatham, VA, all you need to do is call 434-237-2245.

How long can you be held on a probation violation?

How long you are held in jail on a probation violation will depend solely on whether or not you are granted a bond. If you are granted a bond, you might only be in jail for a few hours. If no bond is granted, it’s likely you’ll stay in jail until your hearing. Continued violation of probation could result in revocation of probation. In this case, you’ll have to serve the remainder of your sentence in prison.

What are the two types of probation violations?

While you can violate probation in various ways, the violations will fall under two categories:

  • Technical violations: This means you failed to follow the rules or terms set down as conditions of your probation. For instance, if you were given a curfew of 11 p.m. you would be in technical violation of probation if you stayed out until midnight and were caught doing so without good reason.
  • Substantive violations: This occurs when you commit a new crime while on probation. It’s not just a breach of a condition, but a separate act. For instance, if you are on probation for a drug possession conviction but are caught robbing a convenience store while out on probation, this is a substantive violation. You’ll be tried separately for that offense.

Is probation violation a felony?

In Virginia, a probation violation is considered a criminal offense, however, it is not classified as a felony or misdemeanor offense, as are other crimes. This violation is treated quite differently than other offenses. You aren’t entitled to a bond, for instance, if you are jailed. Instead, the court decides whether to grant a bond for your release. If you’re not granted bond, you’ll be jailed until your hearing. At the hearing, your probation could be revoked and you’ll serve out your original sentence. This hearing is not heard by a jury and all decisions about your case are made by the court.

How do you not go to jail for probation violation?

Staying out of jail after a probation violation is tough. If this is a first-time violation you might get lucky and your probation officer or a judge might let you off with a warning. You might stay out of jail for second or subsequent violations, but new conditions might be added or your probationary period might be extended. This will all be up to the court to decide. Of course, the best way to avoid jail time while on probation is to follow all terms and conditions until the probationary period has ended.

Can you appeal probation violation sentence?

If you’ve been convicted of a probation violation you can appeal the conviction. The appeal goes to the next highest court and that court determines if the lower court was in error or there wasn’t sufficient evidence to convict. If the appeal goes through, the violation will be dismissed.

Does probation violation go on your record?

If you are convicted of a probation violation, it will go on your record.

Do probation violation warrants expire?

If a warrant for your arrest goes out for a probation violation, that warrant will not expire. No arrest warrants expire and you can be subject to arrest at any time.

A Person in Jail.

Can you bail out of jail on a probation violation?

When you’re jailed for a probation violation in Halifax, VA, Danville, VA, and Chatham, VA, you are not entitled to a bond. Whether or not you get a bond amount set is wholly up to the court to decide. If a bail amount is set by the judge and you need help bonding out, you can get help quickly by calling Affordable Bail Bonding at 434-237-2245.

What Does Bail Jumping Mean?

A Defendant Stands Before a Judge in Court.

What does bail jumping mean?

If you fail to appear for your court date after posting bail, you are bail jumping. This is also known as failure to appear. Is jumping bail a crime? It is a crime in Virginia and the charges can vary, although contempt of court is common. Penalties could range from fines to jail time. Usually, you will also return to jail until your trial. It’s often difficult to get bail if you’ve failed to appear but if you need bail bonds services in Halifax, VA, Danville, VA, and Chatham, VA, you can get help from Affordable Bail Bonding by calling 434-237-2245.

What happens when a person jumps bail?

The consequences of bail jumping, a separate crime from the original charge, often include:

  • Forfeiture of bail bond: Normally, once you make your court appearance, the bail that was paid is returned. If you fail to appear, you or the person who put up the bail will not receive any money from the court.
  • Bench warrant issued: Most often if you fail to appear the judge will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. You can be arrested at any time after that.
  • Jailed: Once you’ve been arrested on the bench warrant, it’s very likely you will be taken to the county jail and will have to remain there until your next scheduled court appearance. Because you might now be considered a flight risk, a judge might not set any bail amount for your release.
  • Additional penalties: Because bail jumping is a separate crime, you will at the very least be fined for contempt of court or you might receive jail time or both in addition to any penalties if you are convicted of the original crime.

What does forfeited bond mean?

When bail jumping occurs, in most cases the court will not refund the bail money put up to get you out of jail. This is forfeiture of the bond. If you used a bail bonds agent, the bail bond agent is then responsible for paying the full amount of the bail. What usually happens, in this case, is that the bond agent will go after the defendant or hire a bounty hunter to bring the defendant into court.

How much time can you get for bail jumping?

If you’ve failed to appear for a court hearing in Virginia, you’ve committed a crime that can have severe consequences. You’ll be penalized even if your original case is dismissed. At the very least you will receive a citation for contempt of court which has fine of up to $250 attached along with up to 10 days in jail.

If your original case is not dismissed, your bail jumping sentence will fit the category of your original charge. If the original charge is a misdemeanor, the skipped bail charge will also be a misdemeanor charge. Similarly, it will be a felony charge if your original charges are a felony.

A misdemeanor failure to appear charge is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines, while felony failure to appear is punishable by one to five years in jail and $2,500 fines. These sentences are in addition to sentences from the previous crime.

Is bail jumping a felony?

In Virginia, bail jumping can either be a felony or misdemeanor charge, depending on what your original charge was. This is the way failure to appear is handled in most states. Fines and jail sentences will vary depending on the charges. At the very least you will get cited with contempt of court. If you are on probation at the time, your probation will be suspended.

Bail jumping and failure to appear

Bail jumping or skipping bail are just terms for the offense of failure to appear. If you do not make an effort to appear in court after you’ve been bailed out of jail, you are in violation of failure to appear and have jumped or skipped bail. If you miss a court date or believe you might do so, you must have a valid reason for doing so. You should always contact the court beforehand, and preferably contact your attorney, as well as anyone who might be affected, including a bail bond agent.

A Man Sits in a Jail Cell.

Bail jumping no contact

In most cases, especially regarding drug cases and domestic violence, judges set conditions you must abide by or you’ll have your bail revoked. No-contact orders are the most common of these conditions. These orders limit how close you can be to a particular person or people once bail is posted. You might be ordered to keep at least 500 feet from an individual such as a spouse in a domestic violence case. If you violate this order, you will be charged with offense of bail jumping. This usually means your bail will be forfeited, and a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. This is an additional criminal offense, and will be prosecuted as such, and you might end up serving jail time for it. Even though it is often difficult to get bail for bail jumping in Halifax, VA, Danville, VA, and Chatham, VA, you can get help from Affordable Bail Bonding by calling 434-237-2245.

How does bailing out someone work?

handcuffs on a person

How do you bail someone out of jail without money?

Being arrested brings about worries and those worries bring about questions – a lot of questions – for the arrested individuals, their families, and friends. After the arrest, there is the arraignment, and that is when bail can be granted by the judge. With the bail being set there are even more questions. With bail, FAQs are as common, but with basic standard answers. With FAQ bail include questions like: 

So, bailing somebody out of jail isn’t something on everyone’s household monthly expenses. It seems to happen when you don’t have money, so how to you How do you bail someone out of jail without money? Depending on the person, their criminal background, and their standing in the community, they may be released on the own recognizance. 

When a suspect is released on O.R., on  their own recognizance, they do not pay any money to the courts, there is no bond required from an attorney or bail bondsman, but they are required to sign a promise they will appear for any court ordered proceedings. There are options to post bail with no money in addition to being released on own recognizance: 

The other two options in addition to O.R. are: 

Cash Bail: This is the full amount of the bond set by the judge, paid in cash. That cash is returned after 90 days if the defendant appeared for all court ordered appearances. This includes their trial and any court ordered classes like anger management, alcohol and drug counseling, etc. 

Surety Bond: This is a contract between a bail bondsman and the court. The bail bondsman guarantees that the defendant will be at all court ordered appearances. In exchange for this, the defendant, a family member, or friend, have signed a guarantee to the bail bondsman the defendant will be present as required and usually a weekly check in is required by the bondsman. 

What happens if you don’t pay bail bond?

A down payment of 10% is paid to the bondsman which is not refundable.  If the defendant “skips” out and is a no show in court, the bail is foregone, and a warrant is issued for the defendant. Skip tracking and other means to find the defendant are engaged. There have been movies and television shows of this nature, while the “chase” may not be as exciting, the process will be something to that affect. 

Can bail conditions be changed?

In the state of Virginia, bail shall not be modified by the court for a pending case unless there is change in the circumstances as by the higher court or when request is  presented by the defendant’s attorney.  A determining factor of any bail condition changes will be the crime at hand, the defendant’s criminal background, their standing in the community, time on the job, etc. 

What happens when you bail someone out of jail and they run?

As the Indemnitor (the person who got the bond) will be required to sign an agreement guaranteeing the person bailed out will appear for all court mandated appointments. 

This is not without responsibility on your part because you’re the one that will be paying any additional fees for missed court dates. This isn’t a social media page where you can unfriend them, this is real life, and it is serious. 

If you paid by cash or credit card for the bail bond, put up a house, jewelry, vehicle, or other items, you will lose it all because of this person you helped. When the person has not shown up for court, then the bail bonds company is advised by the court and the bail bonds company will notify you. Typically, there is a grace period to find the person and have them before the judge.  What happens at that point is up to the judge. 

Can a cosigner go to jail?

You could, but you can also request to be dropped off that bond and leave that person liable on their own.  As the co-signer , you took responsibility for the defendant actions, but you also have the power to cancel that guarantee. The search will ensue for the defendant and when they are apprehended, they will be incarcerated. 

It is great that you can and want to help a family member or friend get out of jail by posting bond for them. It is a big responsibility and to minimize your risks as the  co-signer, the following are recommendations: 

  • Keep in touch with defendant daily by phone and/or in person..
  • Call the defendant’s weekly to make sure they have been there and on time. 
  • Keep receipts and records, review the court ordered appearances and dates with the defendant. 
  • Read the agreement thoroughly before signing it, ask questions if something isn’t clear. 
  •  If you aren’t sure about the person needing bail, don’t co-sign.
person in jail

Does bail bond affect credit score? 

Signing for or needing a bail bond will not be reflected in your credit report. What will show up is if you skip bail, don’t appear in court, you’ll then have an outstanding debt on your credit report. Or if you take out a loan to pay for a bond and then fall in arrears with the loan payment, that will be a negative mark on your credit. 

If the defendant or Indemnitor fail to pay the bondsman, they have the right to send it to collections, and that will go against your credit . The best way to handle getting a bail bond is to pay the full amount directly to the court in cash. Need bail? Call 434-237-2245 today!

Can You Go to Jail for a Traffic Violation?

man dealing with a parking ticket

Traffic Violation Tickets

When you got up that morning, you did not have traffic violation on your mind. You’re having a great day, cruising down the highway on your way to work, sun shining, favorite music is playing. Then you see them.  Those red and blue flashing lights on top of a car. You keep going thinking they’ll go around you, but then you hear the ‘whoop whoop’ of the siren. 

Slowly you pull over, no idea what traffic violation you could have committed. Of course when the officer gets up to your window, what seems like forever, they ask for license, insurance, and registration, all of you which you have. Sure enough, you have committed a traffic violation, so what is that going to cost you? 

What is a traffic violation and How do you get a traffic violation? 

Over ninety percent of Americans that are of the 16 years old and older have a driver’s license that gives them permission to operate a motor vehicle on the street. Experts calculate that equates to trillions of miles annual and millions of traffic violations.  Those traffic violation usually include DUI, reckless driving, running red lights, and speeding. 

In many cities and states, traffic violations are categorized as moving violation and nonmoving violation. The moving traffic violations are the more serious, like running a red light or driving over the posted speed limit.  A nonmoving traffic violation would be no brake light, failure to use a blinker, or illegally parked. 

What is the most common traffic violation?

Nobody sets out with the goal or intention of receiving a traffic violation. First of all, it puts a damper on your entire day or evening, it usually going to make you late for wherever you were headed. Then there is the traffic fines, potential points on your driving record, and what is going to do to your auto insurance?! 

 The following are the most common traffic violations. Make a mental note and be conscious of avoiding these, because these will increase your insurance and your driver’s license points fast. 

  • Speeding: Around the world, this may be THE most common traffic vіоlаtіоn. States are increasing speed limits every year, and yet, it just isn’t fast enough for many drivers here in the United States. A speeding traffic violation can reach $500.00 and higher depending on your speed vs the posted speed limit.  Other factors that can cause a speeding to be expensive is speeding in a construction zone or a school zone. 
  • Running a Stор Sign, Traffic Light: You may be one of those drivers that ‘slows’ down at that stop sign by your house. After all, you know who lives in the area and who would be going by there, right? Slowing down, or “rolling” a stop sign is the same thing as running a stop sign. To avoid a traffic violation in this scenario, come to a complete stop, and the applies to turn on red. 
  • Driving Under the Influеnсе: Driving under the Influеnсе, (DUI) is an extremely dangerous and serious traffic violation. Whether it is for alcohol or drugs, you are putting yourself and others in danger.  Having a designated driver or calling for a ride is nothing to be ashamed of as going to court for manslaughter. 
  • Phone Use While Driving: Cell phones are a big part of everyone’s daily life but talking or texting while driving is as dangerous as driving while under the influence. Where DUI affects your ability to judge, talking or texting is a distraction.  
  • Failure to Signal: A quick lane ѕwіtсh without signaling is dangerous. It may seem like an innocent and simple move, but it frequently ends up in a collision. Even if you’re not involved in the collision, the ramifications behind you could be deadly as the driver that is now behind you slams on their brakes, the car behind them doesn’t.  
  • No Sеаtbеlt: This traffic vіоlаtіоn may seem frivolous, but studies have found that it does save lives. The реnаlty іѕn’t as steep as other traffic violations, but it can affect your safety, your passenger’s safety, and your auto insurance rates. 
  • At-fault Cоllіѕіоn: If you are the cause a collision, such as a lane change without signaling, the repercussions are costly. Your auto insurance will increase, and depending on your record, the insurance company may drop you. 

What are misdemeanor traffic offenses?

In the state of Virginia, misdemeanor traffic violation can leave you with a permanent criminal record, demerit points on your driver’s license, and stiff fines. The most common misdemeanor traffic violations are: 

  • Driving with suspended license
  • Driving with revoked license
  • Reckless driving
  • DUI

What does a traffic misdemeanor do to your record?

Traffic violations will result in fines and points on your driver’s license. It is treated as a conviction on your drivers license and will remain there between two and eleven years, depending on the type of violation. In some cases, suspension may be handed down if you have previous points on your driver’s license.  

Can a traffic misdemeanor be expunged?

it is difficult, recommendation is to have an attorney represent you for better chance of success. Some limited circumstances that could have a misdemeanor traffic violation expunged are: 

  • Acquittal. If you were charged with reckless driving and the charge was acquitted by the judge, it is possible to have the arrest and acquittal expunged. 
  • No prosecution. If your case was not prosecuted, aka a nolle prosequi, you can petition for expungement.  
  • Dismissed. If the original traffic violation charge was dismissed for lack of evidence and you did not plead no contest or not guilty, you can file for expungement. 
  • Charges amended. 
judge pounding gavel

What does a criminal traffic ticket mean?

Certain traffic violations that are categorized a misdemeanor are a felony offense or a criminal offense. These will show on background checks, driver’s license records, and affect the driver’s auto insurance. The driver charged with a criminal traffic violation could be sentenced to twelve months in jail, $2,500 fine. Any driver charged with a Traffic violation and bail should seek the help of a criminal attorney.

The basis of the information in this article is in the state of Virginia. Every state has different traffic laws, traffic violations, and the penalties they bring. The services of an attorney are always the best source of proper information for the state and situation. Need help with traffic ticket bail? Call 434-237-2245 today.

Can Bail Be Changed or Dropped?

arrested person

Dealing With Arrest and Bail

When a person is arrested and taken to jail, most of the time, they can post bail and be released until their court date with certain bail conditions. Bail money is not a fine or punishment. It is a financial obligation to ensure that defendant will appear in court. When the trial is completed, the bail money is returned less any processing fees charged by the court.

The bail amount and any bail conditions are determined by the judge who uses several factors to determine the amount of bail or magistrate decides the amount of bail by weighing many factors:

  • the defendant’s risk factor of fleeing,
  • the crime committed,
  • the danger the defendant is to others and self

Bail conditions are typically along the lines that the defendant cannot have communication with the victim, cannot travel out of state, etc. Bail conditions and court requirements are at the discretion of the judge.

Instead of bail, a defendant may be released on their recognizance. Specific standards must be met by the defendant, such as steady employment, community standing, personal circumstances, and any prior criminal history.

If a financial bail is required, and the defendant is unable to pay the required amount to the court, they can use the services of a bail bonds person. They will typically require a certain percentage. Ten percent is standard for the bonds person to post bail. The defendant and the co-signer of the bond must agree to certain bail conditions set forth by the bail bonds person.

Can bail be reduced?

The federal government put in place the Bail Reform Act that allows a defendant to request a hearing for bail reduction. At this hearing, the defendant can state the initial bail amount, and bail conditions are set so that they are unable to afford the bail or meet the bail conditions.

The lower courts are required to listen to the argument and take the points made into consideration. However, they are not required to reduce the bail or change the bail conditions as long as there isn’t any proof the court can justify the bail amount and level of bail conditions.

Why would a judge reduce bail?

A judge can lower, raise, or waive bail that was set. It is recommended a defendant have an attorney present at the bail hearing to request any bail changes or changed bail conditions.  The attorney can present sound reasons why the bail should be reduced or waived and why bail conditions should be changed.  Reasons that a judge will need to hear are:

  • The defendant is not a danger to their community
  • The defendant is not a danger to themselves
  • The defendant has no prior criminal history
  • The defendant has no record of missing previous court dates

Things that can work in a defendant’s favor to have bail reduced or waived and Why bail conditions changed are:

  • Defendant has strong community ties
  • Defendant has long term employment
  • Defendant has local family vouch for them
  • Defendant has a severe financial hardship

If the judge denies the request to reduce or waive the bail or change the bail conditions initially, he or she may reconsider how bail conditions change at a later date.  These changes may happen when the defendant is without legal representation at first, and their attorney can provide additional evidence in favor of the defendant and the request.

Why would someone’s bail be raised?

Being arrested, put in jail, and dealing with posting bail is terrible enough, but did you know that the judge can increase your bail or change the bail conditions? Well, they can, even after the original bail has been posted, and the defendant has been released.  

No, they can’t arbitrarily change the bail amount or bail conditions. They have to have a legitimate and logical reason, and the defendant must be advised and allowed time to make the additional bail. Legitimate reasons for a bail increase or change in bail conditions could be:

  • New charges against the defendant
  • Further review of the original crime is more complex or severe than thought
  • The victim injuries worsen, become lifelong, or they die
  • If the defendant is a danger to themselves, to others, or if they
  • The defendant doesn’t honor the bail conditions

Can you reverse a bail bond?

Posting bail for a loved one, or anyone, should not be taken lightly. If that person doesn’t appear in court or meets the bail conditions set by the judge, you will be responsible for the total bail amount. If you put any property up to secure the bail, you will lose that in addition to paying the full bail.

So, what happens if the person you co-signed a bail bond skips out? Before you co-sign a bond, ask the bail bond agent if the agreement has a revoke clause. If you decide to revoke the bond, advise the bail bond agent, and they will advise the court.  

Judge doing bail decision

What are the four types of bail?

A criminal bail bond is a financial guarantee that the defendant will appear for all court dates. If the defendant misses a court date, the amount paid for bail is forfeited, and an arrest warrant is issued. Four common bail bond types secure a defendant’s release:

  • Own Recognizance
  • Cash bond
  • Property bond
  • Professional bondsman

Staying out of legal troubles is the best thing to do. However, things happen, even unknowingly. If you are arrested, hiring an attorney should be the first thing you do, even before you’re arraigned. They will represent you and work with the judge to lower or raise your bail and ease your bail conditions. Call 434-237-2245 today for bail help.

What Are Some Important Criminal Justice Terms to Know?

handcuffs  and finger prints

How does a bond work jail?

When you’re arrested for a crime, you will appear before a judge will set bail, the amount required for you to be released from custody. You can pay that bail amount as a whole to the court, or a bail bond can be obtained from a bail bondsman. Posting bail is usually done by a family member, friend, employer, or an attorney, which will cost up to 20% of the bail amount, however, all bail bonds terms are different. 

When you hire a bail bondsmen, a contract is signed by the person that buys the bond that ensures the defendant will be court on the appointed date and time and will fulfill any special requirements outlined in the Bail bonds terms by the judge. If the defendant does not make the assigned court date, the person who purchased the bond will be responsible for paying the bail bondsman in full. 

A bail bondsman is typically available 24/7/365, even if it is by cell phone because being arrested can happen any day of the week, any time of the day. Today, thanks to computers and technology, the required paperwork and payment are done electronically. It is the contract that the bail bondsman will request be signed where the bail bonds terms as stated. 

The contract will state the collateral that was put up for the bail and details the ramifications if the defendant doesn’t show up on their appointed court date. It will have the defendant’s full name, address, contacts of the defendant’s, the court date, and a receipt for the bail bond. 

If the defendant doesn’t show up to any assigned court proceedings, the bail bondsman has the responsibility to find that person and bring them to court. If they are unable to locate the defendant, as stated in their bail bond terms, they will hire a bounty hunter or private eye to find the defendant. The amount of paid for the bail bond is forfeited. 

What are the different types of bonds to get out of jail?

Several types of bonds can get you released from jail, some easier than others. Not all types work for all types of arrest and custody, and the bail bonds terms can vary based on the charges and the defendant’s criminal history.  

What are the 7 types of bail?

Here is the list of the seven types of bail bonds that can get a defendant released from custody. A brief explanation of Different bail bonds terms is for what kind of arrest is stated along with this list. 

  • Citation Bail: The arresting officer’s discretion is what determines if they will issue a citation release at the time of arrest or ticketing.  
  • Recognizance Bail: Recognizance bail is issued by the arresting officer’s discretion, too, but isn’t given as freely as the citation bail, and you may need to go to court to be granted this bail. 
  • Cash Bail: Cash bail is a bail that is paid in cash if the defendant of the person bailing them has the money. 
  • Surety Bail: If cash is not available, this is when the services of a bail bondsman are used. Typically, this can cost between 10% to 20% of the amount of bail and a contract stating the bail bonds terms will need to be signed by the person hiring the bail bondsman and the defendant. 
  • Property Bail: This type of bail can take some time because the property being offered as bail has to be assessed and approved by the courts. 
  • Federal Bail: A federal bail bond is similar to property bonds in that you must deal with the court, and there is no bail bondsman involved. It often contains cash and property for most people. 
  • Immigration Bail: This type of bail can be challenging to obtain because the defendant is non-citizens or non-residents and can’t meet the eligibility stated within the bail bonds terms. 

What is the most common type of bail?

Cash bond or surety bonds are the most common type of the seven types with recognizance bail being the third most common. The exact requirements are detailed within the bail bonds terms that are presented at the time the bondman issues the bail bond. 

Judge's gavel

What does bond bail supp mean?

There are many different bail bonds terminology and words, all having different bail bonds and law terms.  Bail bond supp is abbreviated for bail bond support, meaning the collateral needed to guarantee the bond that the defendant will appear in court on the date stated at their arraignment. More common terminology in the bail bond industry are: 

  • Arraignment – the first court hearing where the defendant hears the terms of bail and their first court date. 
  • Arrest – when a person is charged by law enforcement because they are a suspect in a crime. 
  • Bail Bond – a guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear before the judge on the set court date. 
  • Bail Bondsman – an authorized person that has authority to post bail for a defendant with an agreement between them and the defendant separate from the court’s bail bonds terms.
  • Bail Forfeiture – this when the defendant has failed to appear in court, and they forfeit their bail money. The bail bondsman becomes responsible to the court for the money and pursues the defendant for reimbursement.
  • Collateral – usually required for a larger and riskier bond and is requested by the bail bond company as a part of their bail bonds terms and conditions.
  • Conditions of Release – these are the bail bonds terms of the conditions the judge stated at the arraignment that indicates the limits of what is allowed and not allowed for the defendant while awaiting trial.
  • Criminal Defense Lawyer – this is the defendant’s lawyer that is to protect their innocence, making sure they get a fair trial. 
  • Defendant – this is the person that is accused and was arrested.
  • Extradition – when a defendant leaves the state or country after an arrest, they are returned to the original state or country. 
  • Failure to Appear – this is when the defendant doesn’t make their appointed court date, and a warrant is issued for their arrest.
  • Felony – this is a crime with a level of two or more years of jail time.
  • Fugitive – a defendant that failed to appear in court.
  • Incarceration – an arrested person being held in jail is incarcerated.
  • Indemnitor – this is the person that paid for the bail bond and is now responsible for the defendant showing up for court.
  • Transfer Bond – this is a bail bond that secures a defendant is transferred from one jurisdiction to another. 
  • Warrant – issued by the judge for a person accused of a crime to be found and brought to jail. 

This is a lot of information and not the most accurate version. To know How to find bond information, we recommend searching the internet for a defense attorney that specializes in the crime the defendant is accused of and get the proper legal guidance. For affordable bail in Halifax, VA, Danville, VA, and Chatham, VA, call 434-237-2245 today.

How We Help You With Bail Bonds

An Inmate Sits in a Jail Cell.

How Does Affordable Bail Bonding Help You?

When you get a message at 3 a.m. from a county lockup that someone you know needs bail, it can be one of the most stressful moments of your life. Plenty of questions are sure to rush through your mind, not the least of which is “What next?” After a friend or family member has been arrested and jailed, getting them out is a priority, and often the best answer to “What’s next?” is to get in touch with a bail bonds agent.

But, you want to make sure you’re working with the best bail bonds agent around. If you live in Halifax, Roanoke, or Rocky Mount, VA, or the surrounding areas that bail bond service is Affordable Bail Bonding. What makes us unique among bond agencies in the area? First of all—experience. We’ve served our communities for a long time. We know who to contact if you’re trying to find where your family member is jailed. We know and work closely with local law enforcement, judges, attorneys, and other officials who’ll be handling your family member’s case, and understand their expectations when someone is released from custody. We know the ins and outs of the bail bonds process and how best to serve our clients.

Secondly, we provide the highest level of customer service you can get from a bond agent in the area. We care about the people we’re helping, both the person in jail and those bonding that person out. We understand how stressful the situation is for everyone involved, and one of our big goals is to bring peace of mind to everyone. That’s one of the reasons we’re available 24/7, and act fast when we’re called. We know that the sooner a person gets released on bail, the faster they’re going to be able to work on their case and deal with all aspects of their life before their trial. 

When you call Affordable Bail Bonding, one of our bond agents will answer the call promptly, and guide you through the bail bond process quickly. Our agents are always courteous and professional. If you start the process online, through our convenient form, you’re not going to have to wait on a response, or worry that we won’t move quickly to get your friend or family member released. However you contact us, you can trust we’ll act quickly and our service will be effective. 

When you want a bail bonds agency whose customer service is at its apex, you can always rely on Affordable Bail Bonding. We’re available 24/7 to help. You can reach us at these numbers: Halifax, (434)566-0045; Roanoke, (540)632-9009; or Rocky Mount, (540)238-3745.

Convenient Payment Plans

When someone needs bail, one of the biggest stressors is financial worries. At Affordable Bail Bonding, our goal is to provide peace of mind for all involved. No matter how much the bail amount is, we will work with you to get your family member released. We will assess your financial situation and work out a payment plan, usually an affordable installment plan. Once you make a down payment, you’ll be able to make installment payments. Moreover, to keep from slowing up the process, we require no co-signers on bonds.

Searching for Inmates in Local Jails

When you find out someone you know has been arrested, you’ll want to know where they’ll be detained. Usually, when a person is arrested and arraigned, they’ll be held in either a city or county jail and remain there until they are bailed out or released on their own recognizance. It can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours after a person has been arrested and booked to be processed into jail and show up in the system. When you need to bail someone out, if you have the inmate’s name, charges, and where they’re being held, it will make the process go faster. You find this information through arrest and jail records. As a courtesy to you, as part of our bail bonds service, Affordable Bail Bonding can help you find a loved one who’s been jailed if you are having trouble finding them. 

Many cities and counties in the area have jail websites with inmate search portals. If someone has been processed into these jails, they will show up in these searches. Jails in our area include:

  • Roanoke, VA: Roanoke is unique because it is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. People are primarily processed through the Roanoke city jail. An inmate search portal is available on its website or you can call jail administration at (540)853-2941.
  • Halifax, VA: Anyone arrested in Halifax itself or in Halifax County will be processed into the Halifax County Adult Detention Center operated by the Blue Ridge Regional Jail Authority. You can search for inmates on its website or get more information by calling (434)476-5500.
  • Rocky Mount, VA:  Anyone arrested in Rocky Mount or in Franklin County will be processed to Franklin County Corrections. More information about the facility is available on its website or by calling the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at (540)483-3000.
An Open Jail Cell.

Call Us Today

When you need bail bond services fast, you can always rely on the bond agents at Affordable Bail Bonding. Our services are available 24/7. Reach us at the following numbers: Halifax, (434)566-0045; Roanoke, (540)632-9009; or Rocky Mount, (540)238-3745

Humanizing the Bail Bonds Experience

A Surety Bond Being Signed

What is the bail bond process?

Getting arrested can be frightening and confusing, especially if it’s a first-time arrest. It will certainly be stressful for all involved. It’s rarely the apex of one’s life. Often, it can be a nadir, a low point. It can also be highly stressful for the friend or family member who gets a call from a city or county jail from a person needing bail. All sorts of thoughts may cross that person’s mind: How are you going to afford this? Do I call a bail bondsman? How does that work? How long will my family member be in jail? If a friend or family member has been arrested in Halifax, Roanoke, or Rocky Mount, VA, Affordable Bail Bonding will guide you through the bail bond process. Our goal is to provide you with some peace of mind and get your loved one released from jail as soon as possible. You can reach us at these numbers: Halifax, (434) 566-0045; Roanoke, (540)632-9009; or Rocky Mount, (540)238-3745.

The bail bond process

  • After an arrest, the defendant is booked and processed either in a city or county jail.
  • The defendant is then arraigned. This is where he or she either enters a guilty or not guilty plea and normally where bail is set by the court.
  • Once bail is set, the defendant can either post bail in cash or consult with a bail bondsman or have a friend or family member consult with the bondsman. 
  • The bondsman is paid a fee—normally 10% of the bail amount—to post bail for the defendant.
  • The defendant is released.
  • The defendant must meet all requirements of the court, including returning to court for trial and any other requested court appearances.
  • If the defendant fails to show up to court without good reason, the bail is forfeited, and the defendant is subject to arrest and further penalties.

A bail bond is similar to a loan. The defendant or co-signer is usually asked to put up collateral like a vehicle or property. Bond agents normally offer financing or loan options. 

Can you make payments on a bail bond?

One of the biggest stressors you may experience when working with a bail bond agency is financial worries. Most bail bond agencies and agents understand that and work with you to assess your financial situation and options for payment. Reputable bond agencies like Affordable Bail Bonding will offer affordable payment plans such as installment plans if you cannot afford to pay the full bail bond upfront. With installment plans, you make a down payment, and then agree to pay the rest of the amount in installments over an agreed upon time period.

How do you bail someone out online?

Bond agencies know the bail bond process can be stressful. It can also be very inconvenient, especially if you’ve received a call late at night from someone needing bail. While most agencies are open 24 hours, it may not be easy for you to visit in person. Many agencies like ours make it convenient for you to get the process started online. Usually you just need to fill out an online form and associated paperwork and a bond agent will complete the process to get the person released.

What are the duties of a bail bondsman?

A bail bondsman, or bail bond agent, is either an independent agent or representative of a bond agency like Affordable Bail Bonding. It’s the bond agent’s duty to complete all paperwork with a defendant, collect payments, as well as find anyone who fails to show up at court. Throughout the course of the bail bond process, the bond agent has to assess whether the defendant is a flight risk or whether he or she or co-signers will be able to pay back the bond. The agent also has to file paperwork with the court so the defendant will be released from jail. An agent basically gains a right of power of attorney regarding representing the defendant in all matters of bail. If a defendant fails to show up for their court date, the agent is also responsible for finding and apprehending that person and taking the person to jail or presenting the person before the court. 

Are bail bondsman cops?

While bail bond agents are responsible for tracking down and apprehending anyone who jumps bail they are not government agents, although they must be licensed by state agencies. In Virginia, bail enforcement agents have to be licensed by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and must abide by all regulations set down by that department. They have to follow certain guidelines to apprehend someone who has jumped bail and their rights and responsibilities may differ from those of regular law enforcement.

A Judge at a Bail Hearing.

Call Us Today

Affordable Bail Bonding always wants the bail bond process in Halifax, Roanoke, or Rocky Mount, VA, to go as smoothly as possible. You’ll always deal with real people dedicated to providing you peace of mind and getting you out of a stressful situation as quickly as possible. You can conveniently get the process started online or call our offices in Halifax, (434) 566-0045; Roanoke, (540)632-9009; or Rocky Mount, (540)238-3745.

Staying Safe, and Within the Law, on July 4th

Fireworks in an Evening Sky.

Can you do fireworks in Virginia?

On the Fourth of July, watching fireworks streak to the sky, reach an apex, and burst into bright colors can be awe-inspiring. As fun and awe-inspiring as fireworks can be, there are plenty of dangers surrounding them, ranging from serious injuries to fires. And, if you happen to be shooting off bottle rockets, Roman candles or similar fireworks in the state of Virginia, you’re also committing a Class 1 misdemeanor. Throughout the state, it is illegal to buy, sell, possess or use any fireworks that explode, travel laterally, rise into the air, or fire projectiles. This means firecrackers, skyrockets or bottle rockets or similar fireworks are not legal. However, fireworks like sparklers or pinwheels or similar devices that don’t explode are legal to buy and use. When it comes to Fourth of July safety, watching controlled fireworks displays is always the safest option to celebrate the country’s independence.

This year, in particular, with COVID-19 regulations in place, many large community fireworks shows have been canceled, as gatherings of more than 50 people are restricted. Please check with local news sources for what’s available in your area, and stay safe with any celebrations you may be planning.

Unfortunately, some people will ignore fireworks laws and find themselves using illegal fireworks in their celebrations. Others may overindulge in alcohol and find themselves under arrest for DUI. While Affordable Bail Bonding hopes everyone will stay safe and remain within the laws of the state, should you find yourself in trouble and needing bail over the Fourth of July holiday, we will be available to help in Halifax, Roanoke, and Rocky Mount, VA. Anytime you need exceptional bail bonds help, give us a call at 434-237-2245.

How can you be safe around fireworks?

When you use legal fireworks, you have to remember that even sparklers are not toys. You have to exercise caution while enjoying them. Here are some Fourth of July safety tips to follow so you can celebrate with legal fireworks without the worry of injury or fire.

  • A bucket of water should be kept nearby. Used fireworks should be placed in the bucket.
  • Keep a water hose hooked up and a fire extinguisher nearby to extinguish stray sparks.
  • Have one designated adult light the fireworks. Young children should never light them.
  • Only use the fireworks outdoors—preferably in a parking lot, driveway, or in gravel or dirt— and away from anything like dry grass that can burn.
  • Follow instructions provided for the fireworks.
  • Don’t try to relight dud fireworks.
  • Keep an eye out for any fires for a few hours after the fireworks have been used.
  • Don’t use alcohol when lighting fireworks.

Do misdemeanors require bail?

If you happen to use, buy, or sell illegal fireworks, you could face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge, which can be punished by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. If you’ve been arrested for using illegal fireworks, as a misdemeanor you may be spending the rest of your holiday in jail, and bail may not be set for some time if a judge is not available for bail hearings. Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious classification of misdemeanors in Virginia. 

What are the charges for a DUI?

Many people, when celebrating the Fourth of July, might have a beer or other alcoholic beverage at a holiday celebration. Unfortunately, many people also overindulge in alcohol or other intoxicating substances and end up driving while intoxicated after these celebrations have ended, endangering themselves and others in the process. If you are caught on the road under the influence, you will be charged with a DUI and jailed. 

In Virginia, charges for a DUI/DWI are a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is a very serious charge. If convicted, you can face up to 12 months in jail, as well as a $2,500 fine. Moreover, you could also have your licenses suspended for up to 12 months.  

Jail time for DUI in Virginia is determined by your blood alcohol content. A blood alcohol level of 0.15 to 0.20 requires a judge to sentence you to at least five days in jail. Any blood alcohol level over 0.20 requires the judge to sentence you to at least 10 days in jail. Any conviction will also make it mandatory that you take the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP). This is a 10-week program and classes are 2 hours long.

If you plan on drinking over the July 4th holiday, make Fourth of July safety a priority for yourself and others and have a designated driver.

A Girl Holds Sparklers

Call Us Today

Fourth of July safety is always a priority with Affordable Bail Bonding, especially when it comes to staying safe with fireworks, as well as alcohol. But, if you do need help with any sort of bail at any time in Halifax, Roanoke, or Rocky Mount, VA, never hesitate to call us at 434-237-2245.