Frequently Asked Questions about Bail Bonds

What exactly is a bail bond?

A bail bond is a means of releasing a person accused of a crime from jail until their scheduled court date. A bail will be set by a judge handling the case, and when a percentage of that bond is paid to a bail agent, the person in question will be released from jail and allowed to be at home with their families until their court date arrives. The job of the bail agent is to ensure that the party arrives for their court appearance.

What information will I need to give the bail agent?

Before contacting a bail bond agent, you should have some key pieces of information ready. First, provide where the person is being held in custody, including city, state, and name of the jail. Second, it is helpful to give the agent the person's full name and booking number, but the agent will be able to find this information if you are not sure. Lastly, know the full amount of the bail. The agent will be able to tell you the cost to post your bond, and the requirements needed to release the person from jail.

What is the cost of hiring a bail bond agent?

Bail bond agents typically charge a premium of about 10% of the total bail amount for their services. This is a non-refundable fee which keeps the bail agency in business.

Is collateral required?

Typically, yes. Collateral is another means of securing your responsibility for the bail if the person in question fails to appear in court when they are scheduled to. If this does happen, the bail bondsman can cash in the collateral. When you initially meet with a bond agent, they will draw up a contract outlining the terms of the bond, including how collateral will be arranged. Collateral is typically accepted in the form of cash, cars, property/real estate, stocks, bonds, credit cards/bank accounts, etc.

When is bounty hunting necessary?

A bail bond is used to guarantee a person's appearance in court. However, if the person in question fails to appear, a bounty is placed on them. At this point, a bail recovery agent - or bounty hunter - will be appointed to track down the person, place them under arrest, and surrender them back to custody. At this point, the full amount of bail will be owed. 

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