How Does a Bail Bondsman Work?
Upon arrest for a crime, the individual is processed and placed in jail. After arrest, bail can be posted to release the individual from prison. Depending on their financial situation, some people can pay all their cash bail to the court, while others have their bail posted by a bail bondsman.
Yet, using a bail bond agent costs money. To post bail, these services usually ask for 10% of the bail amount in cash or collateral, after which the defendant is released pending court proceedings. The consequences of failing to appear in court can be serious, including bail bond agents tracking them down, sentencing them back to jail, and punishing/ charging the responsible party.
Bail Agents: Your First Call
The judge has set bail for someone to be released from jail. If the accused does not have the money to pay the full bail, they (or a relative or friend) may be able to obtain bail bonds.
You must provide the following information to the bail bond agent. Before you call, gather this information.
- A detailed location where the person is being held along with the jail’s name
- Full name of the person along with the booking number, if available
- For the defendant to be released from jail, the bail agent must pay a certain amount of bail
Once you’ve discussed pricing options with the bail agent, you can sign a bond. A bail bondsman charges a non-refundable fee, ranging from 10-20% of the amount of bail.