Common Questions About Bail Bonds

Posted on: 27 August 2014

Chances are, if you've never been arrested or known anyone who has, you don't know how bail bonds work. You might have heard the term, but unless you've actually gone through the process, you might not really understand. So, just in case you ever need this information, here are answers to some of the most common questions about bail bonds.

What is a bail bond?

Bail is a contract between a person who has been arrested and the court, in which the defendant agrees to appear for his scheduled court date, in return for an amount of money which is held in surety. The court holds the money so that the defendant does not have to remain in jail until the court date. If the defendant fails to appear, the bail money is forfeited to the court.

A bail bond is when an intermediary steps in to provide the bail money. The defendant usually pays a percentage of the bail to the bail bondsman and the bondsman puts up the remainder of the entire bail amount. When the defendant appears for his court date, the bondsman receives his money in return.

How is Bail Set?

Bail is set based on the severity of the crime and the estimated chance of the defendant fleeing from justice. In cases where the crime is severe and the chance of the defendant not appearing is high, the bail will be set correspondingly high.

What Happens if the Defendant Fails to Appear?

If the defendant fails to appear in court on the appointed date, the bail is forfeited to the court and a warrant is issued for the defendant's arrest. Additionally, the bail bondsman may choose to send his own investigators to locate the defendant, especially if he has lost a lot of money on the case.

Does the Defendant Get His Money Back When he Appears?

If the defendant appears for all of his court dates and the case is discharged in a satisfactory manner, the bail is returned to the person who posted it. In the case of the defendant posting his own bail, he will have the entire amount returned at the conclusion of the case. In the case of a defendant obtaining a bail bond, however, his initial payment is considered the bail bondsman's fee, and is not returned.

If you find yourself needing the services of a bail bondsman, for yourself or for someone close to you, consult with an experienced bail bonds agent to get the answers you need. To learn more about how bail bonds work, check out