October 3rd, 2018


When someone is arrested for a crime, they are taken to the local jail where they are held until their court date. A judge may decide to release them on their own recognizance or to let them post bail so they can stay out of jail until the court date. If you’ve ever heard that someone has been released from jail on bail, you might wonder exactly what bail is. 

Posting Bail

Bail is the set amount of money that an arrested person (the defendant) must pay in order to be released from jail prior to their court date. Bail acts like an insurance policy between the court and the defendant to ensure that the defendant shows up to court. A defendant has the option to pay bail with cash or check, but many cannot afford to do this when the amount of the bail is set high. If the defendant does not have the finances to post bail, they can contact a bail bondsman who will post a bail bond to get them out of jail.

All About Bail Bonds

A Bail Bond is a type of surety bond that is posted through a bail agent or a bail bondsman to secure the release of the defendant from jail. In order to post a bail bond, the defendant pays the bondsman 10 percent of the bail amount. The two types of bail bonds are:

Criminal Bail Bond. Used for criminal cases, it guarantees that the defendant will appear for trial. It also guarantees payment for fines or penalties that are charged.

Civil Bail Bond. Used in civil cases, it guarantees payment of the debt, plus interest and costs assessed against the defendant. 

Once the bondsman receives the initial 10 percent of the bail amount from the defendant, they will work to secure the rest of the bail amount in the form of collateral. The defendant might not have enough collateral, so the bondsman will speak to relatives and friends to help cover the amount. After the defendant is released, they must appear in court. If they appear, the bail bond is dissolved, the collateral is returned to whoever posted it, and the bondsman keeps the 10 percent cash fee. If they do not appear, the bondsman will use the defendant’s collateral to pay the reaming in 90 percent of the bail amount.

How To Get A Bail Bond

The ultimate job of a bail bondsman is to help get you out of jail. Simply contact a bail bond agent, day or night, and they can help you post bail when you don’t have enough money up front. Though a bondsman will accept cash as payment, they often accept all major credit cards, bank debit cards, and some will even accept collateral. By paying a percentage of the bail amount, they’ll arrange for your release and then usually help to make sure that all court appearances are met and kept until the case is closed.