What Is A Bail Bond?

Bail is a set amount of money that acts as an insurance policy between the court system and the person who has been sentenced to jail; this person is known as the defendant in any court case. While all defendants are offered the opportunity to pay their bond and fees upfront, bail can be rather costly; many people cannot afford to pay their fines without the help of a bondsman.

The defendant often makes arrangements with family and friends to secure one of two different types of bonds from a surety company or bail agent. A criminal bond allows for the release of the defendant on the terms that he or she will show up for court on their designated trial date. It also guarantees payment for fines, fees and penalties that are designated by the courts pertinent to the sentencing. A civil bond is used in small claims court and other non-criminal court cases. A civil bond guarantees that any interest-based payments, the debt judgment and court costs that are assessed against the defendant get paid.

To secure a bail bond, the defendant typically pays a fee of 10 to 20 percent to the bondsman in order to get out of jail until the court trial, date or hearing. The bondsman, like the ones at harveyhandlerbailbonds.com, secure the rest of the bail monies through various types of collateral. Stocks, owned houses and cars, jewelry, cash in the bank and investments can all be used as collateral on a bail bond. If the defendant fails to appear for their court hearing, the bond is forefeited and the court will require the remainder of the bond to be paid. The bondsman utilizes the collected collateral to secure the remainder of the monies needed for the bond. If the defendant does show up for court, the bond is dissolved at the conclusion of the case. The collateral is returned to the defendant, friends or family members who posted it; the fee of 10 or 20 percent is kept by the bondsman. Some states do not allow the use of bail bondsman.