How Do Bail Bonds Work

How Do Bail Bonds Work

This video talks about bail bonds and the role of a bail bondsman.

A bail bond is money or other collateral that encourages the judge to allow someone to stay out of jail while awaiting trial. It also is a promise they will return for court. If the defendant does not return for court, the bail money is lost.


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Anyone can post bail. The money is paid in cash and held through the trial. Once the trial ends, the money is returned to the person that posted the bail.

A bail bondsman can also post bail. They charge a fee, or interest, to the defendant. The non-refundable fee is usually 10% of the bail. In addition to forfeiting the bail amount if the defendant does not show up in court, the bail bondsman is allowed to arrest the defendant and bring them to court. Some states allow the bail bondsman to hire a bounty hunter to track down the defendant. A bail bondsman is allowed to bring a civil suit against the defendant to get back the money they lose to the court when the defendant did not show up.

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