You or someone you care about has been put in jail. Naturally, a jailed person would like to be released. However, the court demands bail. What should you do?

Unless you have extensive financial resources or assets to post bail, there's a good chance you'll turn to a bail bondsman. It's critical to understand how the process works so you can handle it as smoothly as possible. Be aware of the following things when you ask for bail bondsman services.


When you hire a bail bondsman, you enter into a loan agreement. They put up the money for the surety for the accused person's return for later court appearances. In exchange, you promise to repay the loan on whatever terms the bond company offers. As with any loan, the issuer makes money by taking interest and fees on top of the base cost.

Posting Bail

The typical bail bondsman works from an office close to the courthouse or jail where the defendant is. Many courthouses have windows to accept bail payments upon completion of arraignment hearings. A bondsman posts bail on behalf of a particular defendant, takes custody of that person upon their release, explains the terms of their bond, and then lets them go.

Returning for Hearings

Courts offer bail for two reasons. One, it relieves jail overcrowding. They'd rather you pay them bail than having to pay to feed and house you in jail. Two, the payment is held to guarantee your return for future court dates. If you miss a court date, the judge has the right to revoke bail, keep the money, and issue a warrant for your arrest.

Most courts like working with bail bondsmen because a third party has an incentive. If you jump bail, they risk never seeing their money. You'll still owe the loan, but the company has a duty to assure your return. Consequently, a bail bondsman services provider will push you hard to make all your scheduled court appearances.

Fulfillment of Release Terms

If you fulfill the terms of your release, the court will return the bond money. This goes to the bond company if they paid your bail. Notably, the court will return the money even if a judge or jury convicts you of the alleged crime. The outcome of the case against you has no bearing on the bond. Instead, the bond is simply an incentive to ensure you'll comply with release terms.

For more information, contact a bail bonds agency in your area, such as Steele Boys Bail Bonds.