Bail Bond FAQ

If you have questions about how bail bonds work, refer to the questions below. If you cannot find your answer, please contact us.

How does the bail process work?

Posting of a bail bond. This process involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by a bail agent and the individual posting bail. The bail agent guarantees to the court that the defendant will appear in court each and every time the judge requires them to.
For this service, the defendant is charged a percentage of the bail amount. Before being released the defendant or a relative or friend of the defendant, typically contacts a bail bondsman to arrange for the posting of bail. Prior to the posting of a bail bond, the defendant or a co-signer must guarantee that they will pay the full amount of bail if the defendant does not appear in court.
Typically, a family member or a close friend of the defendant will post bail and cosign. Collateral is not always required for a person to be bailed from jail. Often a person can be bailed from jail on the signature of a friend or family member. Cosigners typically need to be working and either own or rent a home in the same area for some time.
After an agreement is reached, the bail agent posts a bond for the amount of the bail, to guarantee the defendant’s return to court.

What if the defendant "skips" his bail or misses a hearing?

A defendant not appearing at scheduled court hearings or "skipping" out on his or her bail is a serious matter. When this happens, the co-signer is immediately responsible for the FULL AMOUNT of the bail. If the defendant is located and arrested by the bail agent the cosigner is responsible for all expenses the bail enforcement agent incurs while looking for the defendant.

What is the purpose of bail?

The purpose of bail is to assure the appearance of the defendant, when his or her presence is required in court without having to remain in custody.

What is a bail bond indemnitor?

A bail bond indemnitor is the co-signer for the bail bond. The indemnitor is responsible for seeing that all premiums are paid for a defendant’s bail bond. An indemnitor is no longer liable for the defendant’s bond when the defendant completes all of his/her court appearances, and when all premiums have been paid. It is best to contact the bail bond company when the bail bond is exonerated by the court, for the expedient return of any collateral pledged and to confirm that the bond is exonerated.
In the event of forfeiture, the indemnitor is liable until the full amount of the bail has been paid, plus any expenses incurred, or until the court exonerates the bond.

Do I get my money back after the defendant goes to court?

When the bail bond has served its purpose, the surety will be exonerated (i.e., released from the obligation). Exoneration normally occurs when the proceeding is terminated in some way or on the return of the defendant to custody. After conviction, the defendant appears for sentence. If sentenced to imprisonment the defendant is committed to the custody of the sheriff, and the liability of the surety terminates. You will not receive any money back that you have paid a bail bondsman.

What if the person I bail out skips?

The bail bondsman may arrest the defendant, or authorize a bail enforcement agent to do so for the purpose of surrendering him/ her into custody to ensure his future appearance. Persons doing the foregoing have been called bounty hunters, yet the term does not fit the facts of today's world, they are acting under contract. If the bail bondsman is unable to locate the defendant, and the Judge forfeits the bond posted, the indemnitor/co-signer would be liable to pay the full amount of the bond.

What does the Eighth Amendment have to do with bail bonds?

The Eighth Amendment(Amendment VIII) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights prohibiting the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishments. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that this amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause applies to the states. The phrases employed originated in the English Bill of Rights of 1689.