The state of Tennessee governs its bail bonds system. Essentially, a bail bond is an insurance policy offered to a defendant that which the bail established by the court to be fulfilled. The bail bond agency provides the security and assurance that the defendant will show up in court at the designated time.
The State of Tennessee Department of Insurance issues licenses for all bail bond agencies in the state and requires them to follow particular rules and regulations. (Most of these bail bond agencies have been in business for a number of years and are family owned.) Local courts in Tennessee usually set bail within 72 hours from the time a defendant is charged with a crime.
The various types of bail bonds available in Tennessee include cash bail bonds, property bonds, appeal bonds, corporate bail bonds, and federal bonds.
Bail bonds charges and fees in Tennessee
In Tennessee, the bondsman or bail bond agency are allowed to charge the defendant with a non-refundable fee of up to 10% of the total bail amount. As an example, a $5,000 bail will require at a minimum $500 from the defendant or defendant’s family member or friend paying the fee on his or her behalf. The 10% fee is the standard fee most bail bonds agencies charge in in the state. If the defendant is unable to obtain the necessary money to cover the bail bond, a cosigner may be used if the cosigner can come up with the required amount. Further, the court will charge an additional $37 on top of bailing fee.
Defendants who are granted bail in the state of Tennessee must fulfill a number of requirements. These include:
- Maintaining employment
- Checking in with authorities
- Submitting to drug testing
- Following daily curfew requirements
- Adhering to travel restrictions
If a defendant who has been granted bail fails to show up for his or her court date, the bail bondsman can acquire the services of a bounty hunter to track down the defendant. Further a capias will issue for the defendant’s arrest, which places law enforcement on notice to detain the defendant, often without bail.
Factors that may determine bail for state and felony Cases in Tennessee
According to Tennessee law, prior to setting bail, a number of factors must be considered for state and felony charges. These include:
- The seriousness and nature of the crimes alleged, in addition to the probability of conviction and sentencing
- The reputation, character, and mental state of the defendant
- The safety risk the defendant poses to other members of the community
- The defendant’s past criminal record, flight risk, and history of appearing or failing to appear for court
- The defendant’s family relationships, residency, ties within the community, and other relationships
- The defendant’s current financial status, employment status, and history of employment
- Trusted members of the community who are willing to testify to the defendant’s dependability
- Additional information about the defendant’s character, possible forfeiture of bail/bond requirements, or flight risk
Within the Tennessee court system, every individual suspected of committing a criminal offense has the right to post bail. All defendants are entitled to receive a bond due to the fact that all defendants are innocent until proven guilty under the law. The exceptions involve those who are a flight risk, fugitives or repeat offenders, or those facing the death penalty.
After bail has been determined, in front of a judge the defendant’s attorney may seek to reduce the bail amount, or the counsel for the state may seek to increase the bail amount.
The 10% of the total bail amount must be paid up front and is nonrefundable. If a bail bondsman agrees to take the risk of the additional bail amount, other charges may apply which increase the amount.
Other bail costs
As noted above, defendants posting bail in Tennessee should also be prepared to pay a state fee of around $37 in addition to court costs and legal fees.
If you are facing a criminal charge in Tennessee, you need an experienced Sevierville criminal defense attorney who can carefully build a strong case on your behalf against the prosecution. Our attorneys at Delius & McKenzie, PLLC work aggressively to achieve successful outcomes for our clients. If you need help with a criminal case, call us today at 865.428.8780 or complete our contact form to set up an appointment. We offer our services to the accused in Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Seymour, Pigeon Forge, and other surrounding Tennessee localities.