How Bail Bonds Work

How Bail Bonds Work


How Bail Bonds Work

When you hire a bail bondsman you are having the bail bond company put up the full amount of the defendant's bail for a fee. The fees are approved in California by the Department of Insurance and are set at between 7 and 9 percent (7-9%) as of April 2018. There may be discount bonds for clients that have a privately retained attorney. One can expect to pay around eight percent (8%) of the bond if this applies to your case. Contact your bail bondsman for more information regarding discounted bail.

The bond fee or premium paid to your bail bondsman is non-refundable. This is the fee charged to complete the bond paperwork and post the bond at the jail for the defendant release. The fee is considered earned, once the defendant is released from jail.

When the defendant steps out of jail, the fee (bail premium paid) is considered earned and non refundable. 

 On bail, the defendant is considered to be in the bail bondsman's custody and may be required to check in with the bondsman periodically. Check with your bondsman if this is a requirement of your bail. When on bail, the defendant and the Indemnitor (co-signer) have agreed that the defendant will meet all court dates as are required by the court or be fully responsible for the full bail bond amount payable to the bail bond company. 

Here is a copy of the bail bond agreement regarding your terms and conditions as it relates to your bail bond. 

Key points to note in the agreement that you are agreeing to:

      1. Pay the premium for the bond at the established rates to the bail bond company. Once paid, premium is not refundable.  

2. Provide required collateral. 

3. Pay actual, necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by the bail agent in connection with the transaction. Credit cards fees, etc.

      4. Bounty agent / skip tracer expenses (These are usually based upon the amount of the bond).

      5. Payment of the bond amount for the defendant’s failure to appear.

      6. Keep the bail agent advised of address / employment changes of the defendant or other parties to the agreement.

     7. Aid the bail agent / skip tracers in locating the defendant (where someone other than the defendant has secured the bond).

    8. The consumer should read all agreements thoroughly, asking questions until all items and obligations are understood.


20140424 We Speak sign Bail Bonds - How they work. Bail is cash money, or a bond written by a bail bond company deposited with or promised to a court to persuade the judge to release a defendant from jail, with the understanding that the defendant will return to court as required. A "bail bond" refers to the promise made by the defendant through a "surety" (someone who promises to pay for the defendant) to the court to forfeit the bail money if the defendant does not return. A surety is usably an insurance company that backs the bail bond company that is posting the bond.

After arrest a judge will set bail. The purpose of setting bail is to ensure that the defendant appears at trial without necessarily having to keep the defendant in custody. The bail amount needs to be significantly high enough so that the defendant will not simply forfeit the bail amount and disappear. Many courts have preset bail amounts for each offense, though a judge can deviate from those guidelines for compelling cause.

For example, Alameda County bail schedule recommends a $50,000 bail for domestic violence charges.    

A judge can decide not to allow the defendant to be released on bail if the defendant is considered a flight risk, or a danger to the community. Defendants are less likely to be considered a flight risk when they have family and community ties to the area, are employed, minimal criminal history, or a record of appearing as required in the past.

Bail can be Posted at the court or jail. After the judge has set a bail amount during a court hearing, defendants can post the bail at that time to avoid any jail time. It is always wise to bring a bail bond agent to you court appearance if there is any chance you may be remanded. Bail agents can post bail with the court clerk during regular business hours, or at the jail 24/7 with most jails. The court or jail will issue a receipt for the bail bond, proving that bail was posted. It is also a good ideal to carry your bail bond agent’s business card in case you are stopped by the local police and are questioned.

Show up to all your court dates.
 The bail agent relationship with the defendant on bail is that of a jailer. The defendant is considered under the custody of the bail bond agent. However, unlike jail the defendant is free to roam the State and carry on with his business as he sees fit. The bail agents main concern is that the defendant shows up to court as required. If the defendant does not attend court as required, the court will issue a warrant for their arrest. In California the bail bond company has 180 days to bring the defendant back to court after being notified of the failure to appear. During the 180 days the bail bond agent will hire bounty hunters to apprehend the defendant. The Bail Bond Company may also bring a civil suit against the defendant or anyone else obligated under the bail bond contract to recover the bail money the company paid to the court.



Bail - It's what we do.

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510 Bail Bond is a California Department of Insurance licensed bail company serving the people of California. License # 1845586, 0845586

Bail - It's what we do.  

Insurance too. 

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