How Do Bail Bonds Work?
When a person is in custody, the arresting agency processes him or her, and the judge assigns a bail amount according to their record, flight risk, and the severity of the crime. Minor crimes have small bail amounts, while serious felonies have higher bail amounts. On rare cases, the offense or flight risk is severe enough that the suspect is denied bail.
Most people cannot afford bail, because they cannot access their collateral fast enough to prevent the court system from sending the individual in custody to the county jail. Even if they have the funds, family and friends of the suspect often would prefer not to have their money tied up in a court case. An experienced bail bondsman will quickly locate your loved one and get them out of custody, allowing you hang onto your collateral.
Each bail bond has two components: the bail, and the bond. For a small fee, the bondsman posts the bail amount to the courthouse, which in turn releases the suspect.
By agreeing to have the bail paid by the bail bondsman, the bail amount becomes a loan to the suspect or whoever decided to give collateral on the suspect’s behalf. The bond is a promise (by the borrowing party) that the suspect will attend all future court dates.
The bail becomes forfeit if the suspect fails to attend, and the borrower becomes responsible for backing the bondsman back. The Police will issue an arrest warrant for the suspect. In some cases the bondsman will employ a bounty hunter to track down, capture, and return the suspect to jail, to avoid forfeiting his bail.