3 Common Questions About How Bail Bonds Work

Posted on: 8 July 2021


When your loved one is in jail, they may ask you to post their bail, and you may choose to settle the entire bail amount to the court or use a bail bonds agency. Once you sign a contract with a certified bonds agent, you become the Indemnitor, assuming responsibility to the bondsman and the court. Here's what you need to understand about the obligations, risks, and responsibilities of bailing someone out of jail.

1. What Are the Different Types of Bonds?

You may choose to place a cash bond or surety bond to get your loved one out of jail. If you choose a cash bond, you should deposit the total bond amount at the Court Clerk's office. Once the accused appears in all court proceedings and fully pays the court fees, you can get back the full deposit.

When placing a surety bond, a bonds agent is guaranteed by a surety company and pledges to pay the total bond value for the defendant. In such an arrangement, you have to present sufficient collateral for the surety company to get back the value of this bond should the defendant fail to appear in their court proceedings.

2. How Long Will the Bail Bond Process Last?

It's hard to tell the exact time it takes to bail someone out of jail as the process depends on several different factors. The bail amount, duration of the court case, type of crime committed, and the jail where the defendant is locked determine the length of the bail process. You could consult your local bail bonds agency to get a general idea of how long this process takes.

Bail is set on the same day the accused is arrested, but it may take longer if the arrest happened at night or during the weekend. The defendant should wait for the next business day in court for a judge to grant them bail. Once bail is posted and the paperwork completed, the defendant can typically be released in a few hours, depending on working hours and whether the jail is busy.  

3. Will I Be Responsible for the Defendant's Actions?

Typically, when you bail someone out of jail, the defendant has to comply with specific conditions for their bond. For example, the accused may be asked to stay within the county, attend drug treatment programs, or not to contact the plaintiff.

Your responsibility is to ensure they meet all the requirements directed by the court. Should the accused disregard any of the requirements, the court could revoke their bond and send them back to jail. Any violation of the bond contract will also mean that you have to forfeit your collateral to the bail bonds agency.