If you, a friend or a loved one cannot afford to pay the full bail amount set by the judge, then you may need to seek the help of a local bail bondsman. Because there are so many bail bond companies, you may be overwhelmed when choosing who to work with.
A bail, or surety, bond is set by a judge to get someone out of jail. This bond may be paid by a third party, called a bail bondsman. The bondsman writes a promise on behalf of the suspect so the suspect can be released from jail. However, the suspect must adhere to all the court requirements or the bond will be surrendered to the court and you or your loved ones will be responsible for paying back the bondsman.
These individuals and companies become the suspect’s sureties. They agree to pay the full amount of the court-ordered bail if the defendants they represent do not fulfill all their court requirements. If the bail is forfeit to the court, the bail company will lose all the bail money permanently. However, these companies can then legally recover the money from whoever signed for the bond.
Bail bond companies invest in a defendant, but they require a return. This return is typically the amount the person who signs for the bond gives the company to retain the bond (typically 10-15% of the total bond). Whether defendants fulfill their court obligations or not, this money is not returned to the client.
Getting a Bail Bond
Defendants that are at high risk for fleeing or who face serious crimes may be denied bail bonds. Collateral, such as property, vehicles or jewelry, may also be required to ensure bail bondsmen receive their money back. Therefore, some clients must be willing to relinquish their belongings if their loved one fails to appear in court.
A good bail agent will provide you with clear, easy-to-understand bail bond processes and court requirements. Learn about your state’s bail process and be sure to choose the right bond company.