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How Do Bail Bonds Work?

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By: Vinny Singh

Most of us have heard about people getting released from arrest on bail in the news. But not all of us know exactly how these bail bonds work. The basic idea behind bail bonds is that if someone gets arrested, someone else can pay a bail amount to free the arrested person given the condition that they return to court for the hearing on their case. While this is the basic idea, there is a lot that goes into the entire bail process.

Bail is a set amount of insurance money that the person arrested has to pay to the court. It is basically a financial arrangement that a person will make on behalf of the arrested person. The person acting for the defendant will arrange with the court to have the arrested person released from jail pending the trial in exchange for money or collateral, which may be cash, assets, or a bond. The court sets the monetary value of the bail but in most cases, the arrested person or the defendant is not able to pay the money in cash and this is where a bail bond comes in. A bail bond is basically a surety bond between the court and the arrested person that secures the release of a defendant from jail given that they return to court without the necessity of keeping them in custody the entire time.

Many people nowadays hire bail bond agents or agencies to take care of all the things related to the bail procedure. There are various 24-hour bail bond services nowadays that can help the defendants with their bail process around the clock. The bail bondsman puts up a fee for the release of a suspect on bail, the bondsman charges a fee of usually about 10% of the amount of money that is required to pay the bail. If the defendant does not have enough assets to ensure a bail, then the bail bondsman might take out securities against individuals that are willing to assist, such as relatives and friends.

Bail agents usually get the necessary information from the contact person of the defendant including the full name of the person in jail, the jail they are in, their booking number, the charges, etc. The process of bailing someone out can either be really quick or take several hours and depends on the circumstances and the charges against the defendant. After the person has been released, it is the responsibility of the bail bondsman that they show up for all court proceedings and to make sure they meet any conditions set by the court.

If the defendant fails to appear in court proceedings, the bail agent will be required to pay the full bail amount to the court. If this happens or if the defendant violates any bail conditions, the bail agent will locate the defendant and take them back to jail. The bail money that the agent pays to the court is recovered by the agent by claiming the assets that were owned by the defendant or those individuals that signed a contract to financially assist the defendant.


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Lawyer Legions Recognizes Terry Lavenstein, ESQ.

Over 40 years experience. Distinguished member of the Maryland State Bar Association and Federal Bar Association.

The article presented here is the opinion of the author. The opinions expressed in this blog are the sole opinions of the author and do not, in any form, reflect the legal advice or opinions of Lavenstein Law LLC. Lavenstein Law LLC does not co-author, nor promote the opinions, ideas, or statements published in this forum. Any information supplied in this forum is for editorial purposes only and should not be accepted as legal counsel provided by Lavenstein Law LLC. If you seek professional legal counsel in matters of criminal law, contact Lavenstein Law LLC. Lavenstein Law LLC is a criminal defense law firm in Maryland.

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