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What Are Bail Bonds?

January 1, 2016

What are bail bonds?What exactly are bail bonds? It's a good question. In fact, people look for information related to bail bonds on a regular basis. Bail bonds can be confusing. That's where we come in. We don't want bail bonds to be confusing, because they can in fact be extremely beneficial and helpful to people in need. In today's blog post, we're going to take a look at one of the most commonly asked questions: What are bail bonds?

Explanation of Bail

Before we can even begin to look at the definition of bail bonds, we need to look at what bail is. According to one definition, bail is:

"The temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial, sometimes on condition that a sum of money be lodged to guarantee their appearance in court."

Simply put, if a person is arrested, a certain amount of money must be paid in order for the defendant to be released before their trial. This amount is set by the judge, or according to the laws in the state where the arrest took place. The bail amount is determine based on the alleged crime the defendant committed, their flight risk, and other factors. The Eighth Amendment requires that bail be reasonable, but judges must also weigh the interests of the court with the cost. Because of this, many people still find it difficult to post bail and be released.

Explanation of Bail Bonds

This is where bail bonds come in. When a person wishes to bail a loved one out of jail, they can call a bail bondsman and obtain a bail bond. They will only be required to pay the bail bond fee (which is very small), and in some cases, must provide collateral. Bail agents are insured by a specific insurance company. They issue a bond to the court, promising to pay the full amount if the defendant skips bail. This is why they often require collateral - if the defendant skips town, they will be left with a large amount of money to pay. This is also why bail agents often hire bounty hunters to find and return the defendant - to avoid having to pay the full bail amount.