When a person is arrested, they may be released on bail until there can be a court hearing or the lawyers and judge determine what needs to be done. Bail is either determined by a judge or has a set amount for the more common issues. Regardless of how the bail is determined, there are two ways to satisfy it. You can either give the court the full amount or get a bond for it from a bail bondsman. When the amount you need is more than you or your family can get, a bond is the only way to go if you do not want to be stuck in jail until a court date can be set. Here are a few things you need to know about a bail bond you may not understand.
When you contact a bail bond agent to arrange for the bond, you will be given an amount that you need to pay them. This is not for the bail itself. It does not go to the court at all. This amount is what the agency charges you for the bond. You are not going to get this money back when the person goes to court. It is also important to understand that most states have laws and regulations on bail bond fees. This means that one agency is not going to have a better price than the others. If someone tries to tell you that they have the lowest bond fee around, they are doing something illegal and need to be reported and avoided.
Sometimes, the amount of bail is so high the bondsman is not comfortable giving the bond to the court. If the person who was arrested does not show up for court or follow all the stipulations for bail, the bond agency will have to pay the full amount to the court. When this is the case, they will require some type of collateral in addition to the bond fee. This could be the title to your vehicle, a lien on your home, or you may be able to give them something of significant value to hold until the person goes to court and the bond is released.
While you may think it would be better to come up with the money for bail on your own and avoid the bond fee, you need to consider what you will have to do or sell to come up with the cash in a hurry. A loan or second mortgage might get you enough, but there is going to be interest on that which could very likely end up costing you more than the fee.