How Bail Bonds Work

About Bail Bonds

A Surety Bond, is when a third party agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of the arrestee. In many jurisdictions this service is provided commercially by a bail bondsman, where the agent will receive 10% to 15% (as stated by law) of the bail amount up front and will keep that amount regardless of whether the arrestee appears in court. The bail agent then posts a bond for the amount of the bail, to guarantee the arrestee’s return to court.

How Bail Bonds Work

When dealing with the bail bond agents it is most important to understand the process. If you are unfamiliar with the bail process and would like to learn more about the process please browse our frequently asked questions.

How does the bail process work?

If an individual gets arrested the court requests a bail, and a bail bond agent posts the bail bond for a fee and that bail bond guarantees that the arrestee will appear in court guilty or not. When a bail bond agent posts bail for a client they are guaranteeing to the court that the arrestee will appear in court on the necessary dates.

What is the cost for Bail Bonds?

By law, the premium for a bond is set generally between 10% and 15% of the full bail amount (depending on what state your loved one/friend is jailed in).

What happens if bail is not posted?

If bail is not posted, the arrestee will remain in custody until and if the judge decides to release the arrestee without bail. While in custody it is possible, but quite rare that an arrestee will be released on “OR” or “own recognizance.” In such a case the arrestee will be released on their own accord, but will be required to attend all future court

Why should you use a Bail Bond Agent

If you use a bail bond agent, you do not have to pay the entire bail amount yourself! When you use a bail bond agent, you pay the bail bond agent a fee and the bail bond agent acts as a surety, telling the court that they (the bail bond agents) will pay the full bond amount should the defendant fail to appear in court. Bail bond agents make money by collecting a non-refundable fee. Usually, the fee is 10% of the amount of bail. So, if a court sets a defendant’s bail at $20,000, that defendant (or someone acting on the defendant’s behalf) can pay a bail bond agent $2,000 and the bail bond agent will act as a surety on the defendant’s behalf. The bail bond agent fee is non-refundable even if the defendant is acquitted or the charges are later dropped.

You are unable to or don’t want to go to the jail where the defendant is being held to file all the necessary paperwork and make the full bail payment. Normally, it is a requirement in order to bail someone out of jail that someone travel to a specific location, such as a courthouse or a jail. A clerk, or other official at the location is responsible for receiving bail payments. You will provide the clerk with specific information, such as the defendant’s name, the case or booking number, and the bail amount to be paid. You then must pay the appropriate bail amount to the clerk in full.