Published On: Tue, Feb 23rd, 2021

Understanding How Bail Bonds Work

We hear about people making bail, see it in the movies, or even read the bail bond billboards, but many people remain unclear about how the process works.

Many questions people ask at the onset are whether they’ll be reimbursed for paying a cash bail bond or will they lose whatever collateral they put up for a friend or loved one’s release.

People are held in custody until their court hearing when the judge determines to cut them loose within their recognizance or until they are granted bail.

What does a bail bond mean? Is it the same thing as a surety bond? In fact, what is bail? Here are all the answers to your questions regarding bail.

bail bond

What is Bail?

A bail is a set quantity of funds that operates as security between the judiciary and the individual/defendant in detention.

Bail amounts are set high to leaving defendants incapable of making bail by themselves. They pay a bail broker, or Bail Bondsman, to post the bail bond for them.

What Is A Surety Bond

A surety bond is a pledge to be accountable for the deficit, bankruptcy, or delinquency of another individual or entity. 

It is a three-dimensional agreement in which the surety ratifies the action or responsibilities of a second individual or company, considered the principal, to a third entity or individual known as the obligee.

What is a Bail Bond?

A bail bond is a form of surety used by a bail agent or bail agent company to ensure the defendant is able to be released from jail. 

What Is A Cash Bail Bond?

A cash bail bond requires the entire bail payment and is not funded via a bail agency. The court will keep all the bail money until the criminal trial is finalized. 

Upon trial completion, the money is refunded to whoever posted it. People who can post a cash bond include the defendant, a family member, or a friend.

There are two main types of Bail Bonds:

Criminal Bail Bond 

The criminal bail bond ascertains that the defendant will show up in court when the time comes for the hearing or trial and secured payment of any penalties or fines decided against the defendant.

Civil Bail Bond

A civil bail bond is utilized in civil lawsuits to ensure the defendant pays their debt in addition to the case expenses.

How Do Bail Bonds Function?

A judge determines the amount to set the bail for the defendant based on multiple factors, including the type of crime they are accused of committing. 

If you are not able to pay your bail amount on your own, a bail bondsman can get you out of jail.

To receive a Bail Bond, a defendant is typically compelled to pay ten percent of the bail amount, which is non-refundable.

The onus is on the bail bondsman to come up with the rest of the money or collateral for the bail. 

If the defendant does not have enough collateral, the bail bondsman might get friends and relatives to provide collateral.

Often you have to post additional cash plus full collateral to get a bail bond.

Whether the defendant appears in court will determine how everything else plays out.

If the defendant neglects to appear in court, the bail is forfeited, and the rest of the bail is obliged to be paid. 

The bail bonds person will utilize the defendant’s collateral to compensate the court.

If the defendant shows up for court, the bond is disintegrated, and the money is given back to the person posting it. The bail bonds agent gets a ten percent cut of the collateral.

Overall, approval is difficult and frequently needs the defendant to have co-signers.