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How Bail Bonds Work

If you're looking for a clear and concise explanation of how bail bonds work, you may be at a loss. A Google search returns a surplus of lengthy articles with complicated terms and descriptions likely to confuse the reader even more. For bail agents who explain the process multiple times a day, the following video might be a solution for educating your clients on what to expect in the process:


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This video was created as a tool to help people better understand the bail process. Embed this video on your website, share it on your Facebook, Google+, and Twitter networks, and email it to anyone who might find it useful and helpful. You may even ask new clients to watch the video before filling out the bail application. Use it however you want, it's free!

Bail agents, share this video with potential clients to help them understand the bail process before they contact you. We encourage you to post this video on your website or corporate blog and to share it with potential clients. If you have questions about how to share or embed this, need a different format or size for your website, blog, would like an accompany article, or have other requirements or requests, send us an email

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Who and what determines a person's bail amount?

The bail amount is set by a judge during a bail hearing. The judge will consider a variety of factors, including the severity of the crime, previous convictions, the defendant's ties to the community, family, and whether or not they have steady employment. 

How Bail Bonds Work Bail Amount

Why do I need to hire a bail agent?

If you cannot afford bail, you need to hire a bail agent. You will pay a small fee to the agent, who will take on the responsibility of the full bail amount. 

What information do I need when contacting a bail agent?

When contacting a bail agent, make sure you know:

  • The full name of the person in jail
  • What jail they are in
  • Their booking number
  • The charges
  • Any other information you can get

Where do I go to post the bond?

The bail agent will usually meet you at the jail to post the bond, though in some cases they may be willing to come to your home. If you are not in the same city as the defendant all paperwork and payments can be handled electronically or over the phone.

How Bail Bonds Work Bail Cost Example

When will the bail agent post the bond?

The bail agent posts the bond after the premium has been paid and any collateral has been signed over.

How long will it take for the defendant to be released from jail?

The process of bailing someone out can take a short time or several hours. It depends on the circumstances and how crowded the jail is. 

What are the defendant's responsibilities once they've been released?

After the person has been released, they must show up for all court proceedings and meet any conditions set by the bail agent. 

What happens if the defendant doesn't show up for their court date?

If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail agent will be required to pay the full bail amount. If this happens or if the defendant violates any bail conditions, the bail agent will locate the defendant and take them back to jail.

fugitive recovery

If the defendant does not make their court date you could lose any collateral that was signed over with the bond, but as long the defendant complies with the terms set by the bail agent and shows up for all court dates, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

How long do I have to abide by the terms of the bond?

Once the trial is over you are no longer obligated to the bond. It does not matter whether the defendant was found innocent or guilty. 

How Bail Bonds Work FAQ

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How Bail Bonds Work Bail Cost

Bail Bond Cost

Bail cost varies from state to state because of different statutes and regulations. Find out how much it costs in your state.

Bail Bond Cost

What Is Bail Collateral

Collateral is property like a house, car, art or jewelry that helps guarantee the defendant will show up for court. For more information about collateral, visit here.