Bail Bonds: FAQs
If you have never been arrested before, or have a friend or family go through the same, you may not know what to expect in the entire process of getting booked in jail and getting out on bail. You may have a couple of questions on your mind about bail and the entire bonding process altogether. Here are answers to the most common questions about bail bonds, finding a bail bondsman and the kind of associated costs for the service:

What is a bail bond?

A bail bond is the surety that the bail amount directed by the court or jail will be paid by the bonding agency in exchange for the release of the charged suspect. The bail bonding agency acts on behalf of the defendant promising the court that they will pay the full cash value of the bail in case the defendant does not appear in court. The bail bonding agency is therefore responsible for overseeing the court appearances of the defendant.

What information should you contact the bail agency with?

In order for the bail agency to help you, you need to have some important information regarding your arrest or that of your friend or family member. You need to give the bail agency the location of the jail where the person is in custody (city, state and name of the jail). You need to have the full name and booking number of the individual in jail for the bail bonding agency to contact the jail. Finally, you will need to give the bail amount so the bail bondsman can give you all the requirements to get the person out of jail and how much it will cost you.

How can you get a bail bond?

You can get a person released out of jail by using a bondsman, posting the full amount of the bond in cash with the hail or using collateral such as a home or a car. In some case, the judge may decide to release the defendant based on his or her own recognizance.
Do you get your money back when the case if over?
You will often not get the premium that you paid to the bonding office back since this is the fee that provided the service enabling the defendant to get out of jail. In case the defendant is rearrested after they are released on bail, you will not receive any refund. You can only receive a refund if the bondsman fails to live up to his end of the contract.

Can the defendant leave state or country while released on bail?

Since the bonding office is responsible for ensuring the defendant attends all court dates, they will have to get permission from the bonding office before doing so, if the court has not given direct instructions not to leave. In case you post bail for the defendant and you feel like they may skip their court date, contact the bondsmen immediately to discuss your options.

Are there any discounts on the premium fees?

The premium is usually determined by state regulations. Some states allow companies to charge 8% to 10% in cash as premiums for the full bail amount. If you feel you are being wrongly charged, ask for a rate charge.

What can you give bondsmen as collateral?

Every bonding office usually has its own standards for what they accept as collateral. Some common types of collateral include real estate, credit cards, vehicles, real estate, jewelry and any other personally owned asset of significant value.