The Basics of Bail Bonds

by tylercook on August 30, 2013

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If someone gets in trouble with the law, the person has to first be booked and processed before bail can be made. As the accused, once you find out the bail amount (which ensures you will appear in court on your given date), you can contact a bail bondsman. Most bail bond companies will accept advanced payment before posting a bond. Payment could be through a major credit card. However, some will provide a variety of other payment options, including financing and payment plans. Each situation is unique.

How Does It Work?

A bond is funds used to secure your release upon being arrested. As long as you don’t have any other holds on your record, you can use a bail bond company for quick release from jail. If you don’t have the money, you can solicit the help of a bail bondsman. There are two types of bonds: secured and unsecured. An unsecured bond occurs when the person’s criminal history is not significant and the crime is minor. The opposite is true for the secured bond, and, to prevent loan delinquency and reduce flight risk, collateral is collected against the bond.

Most bail bond companies will complete the process within two hours. Email and fax has made it easier for bail bond companies to handle the process much more quickly than in times past. In addition, some work with a tactical network of licensed agents in other cities. For example, if you were to solicit the services of a bail bondsman in one city, and your family member was jailed in another city, the bail bondsman would contact the network after paperwork was completed. A licensed agent from that network would post bail at the jail.

How Can You Get a Bail Bond?

Once you receive information about a bail bondsman, check to make sure that their services will meet your needs. Call to discuss the case. Most companies will try to get as much information about the case in the initial phone call. This will determine what risks are involved, if any. The approval process will then begin. Once the approval process has been completed, you will be asked to sign all documents associated with the case, which includes the application, receipt and indemnity agreement. The bail will be posted by a licensed bondsman when paperwork is settled and payment is made.

When You Make Bail, Does the Jail Keep the Money?

The bail amount set by the court may be more than what the defendant can pay. The bail bondsman will pay the court if the defendant does not appear in court. The bail bondsman will charge a fee to the defendant for this kind of service. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the full amount has to be paid to the court. The bail bondsman will then have to use various tactics to find the defendant to recover the money.

Can You Use Possessions as Collateral?

You can use collateral to post bail. You would use a valuable asset such as real estate to secure the bail bond. Collateral is a guarantee that a defendant will appear in court. Once the case has been resolved, the bail bond company will return the collateral.

A signature bond is also another option. This option is available to those who have no prior criminal record, are not dangerous to the community or not a flight risk. There are no limitations as to who can post bail for you.


This article was provided by Sandy Wallace, aspiring lawyer and expert in criminal law. If you’re looking for reliable bail services, Sandy recommends Garza Bail Bonds




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