State laws and the terms of a bail bond can differ so you would need to find out about your state's laws and read about specific bail bond cards to find out how one could help you.
In general a bail bond card can be used to keep you out of jail and/or used as a document you can turn in instead of your driver's license if the court or officer requires the license to be held. When stopped by law enforcement in some situations you could be arrested for the traffic violation you are being cited for and taken directly to court or a person authorized to set and accept a bail amount to set you free. Having a bond card could thus help you cover this bail amount and go free.
There are also situations where law enforcement can take away your driver's license as a way to know that you will show up to the court date listed on your citation, leaving you unable to drive or have this proof of identity on you until you show up to court for the citation and get your license returned to you. When these types of situations arise a bail bond card, or traffic bond card as it is also referred to, can help you out. Many authorities will accept a bail bond card or even certain auto travel cards as an appearance bond.
In some states, such as Illinois, this bond card will keep a driver's license from being confiscated by law enforcement. In IL, if you are ticketed for a minor traffic violation, the officer will take your driver's license as bond to guarantee your appearance in court or payment of your fine. The Traffic Bail Bond Card may be accepted in place of your driver's license, allowing you to retain possession of your license.
An Illinois county court gives information on how having a bail card can help you. Here it states if no court appearance is required a judgment [conviction] may be entered against you for the fine, penalties and costs as provided in the "Notice of Consent for Entry of Judgment [Conviction]." Your issuing bond card company will be billed for the FULL amount of the judgment and your card will be forwarded to them upon payment.
If instead a court appearance is required there is then the possibility of a Judgment [Conviction] being entered against you for the fine, penalties and costs as provided in the "Notice of Consent for Entry of Judgment [Conviction]." Your issuing bond card company will be billed for the FULL amount of the judgment and your card will be forwarded to them upon payment and/or the Court may issue a warrant for your arrest.
Some bail bond cards will do is cover the amount of the fine/bail associated with a traffic ticket for their client so that the person has more time to get their finances in order to pay the fines linked with their citation. There is usually a limit on how much they the bail bond card will cover in a single violation and in multiple violations (i.e. $100 may be the limit covered for a single violation and $300 for multiple violations).
If you travel outside of your local area a bail bond car can help you so that if you are cited you will not have to travel back to the county, jurisdiction or state that you were cited in but instead use your bail bond card. You of course will then owe the fine amount back to the bail bond company that is associated with your card.
As we mentioned earlier state laws do differ but they will guide and determine what a bail bond card can do for you as will the actual terms of the bail bond card that you have.
For example of state law, Arkansas motor vehicle law states that one may issue a bond card to a person licensed as an operator or chauffeur which shall constitute evidence of the undertaking of bond by the company to assure the appearance in court for the offense charged of a person arrested or issued a traffic citation for a motor vehicle accident or traffic law violation up to and including the amount in dollars stated upon the face of the bond card.
Normally you can purchase a bail bond card through some auto insurance companies, as an optional add-on, or have it as part of your membership with an auto travel company such as AAA.
For instance the AAA site mentions that there is a Guaranteed Arrest Bond on the back of the carrier on which your membership cards are sent to you is for use if you are arrested for a covered minor traffic violation. For more serious covered traffic violations, you can be protected with a Bail Bond Certificate, which is secured by calling the nearest AAA office.
Keep in mind a bail bond card may not help you in all situations. The AAA card notes that charges involving driving while under influence of intoxicating beverages, drugs or narcotics, or driving on a suspended or revoked driver's permit will make members ineligible for Guaranteed Arrest Bond or Bail Bond.
When pleading not guilty to certain offenses the court will set a hearing date and ask you to post an appearance bond (a sum of money to guarantee your appearance on that date). This is when a bail bond card or auto club membership with an arrest bond guarantee can help you. You can use the bond on your card to cover you for the sum of money the court is requesting.
If you do not attend the hearing, the bond will be forfeited, or the amount of the fine plus court costs will be deducted from it. Your use of the bond normally legally obligates you to reimburse the bonding company, or insurance company that is associated with the bail card, for any fine or forfeiture and for any losses that they might sustain through your use of the bond. Auto club Bail Bond and Guaranteed Arrest Bond services do not pay your fines or forfeitures for you. It is a type of loan, to spare you the inconvenience of detention until the hearing.
These are the types of situations give you an example of the reason one may chose to obtain an auto or traffic bail bond card. A company that issues bail bond cards can give you more information on why one would want to carry a bond card.
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