How Bail Works
Frequently Asked Questions
Who and what determines a person's bail amount?
The bail amount is set by a judge during a bail hearing. The judge will consider a variety of factors, including the severity of the crime, previous convictions, the defendant's ties to the community, family, and whether or not they have steady employment.
Why do I need to hire a bail agent?
If you cannot afford bail, you need to hire a bail agent. You will pay a small fee to the agent, who will take on the responsibility of the full bail amount.
What information do I need when contacting a bail agent?
Where do I go to post the bond?
The bail agent will usually meet you at the jail to post the bond, though in some cases they may be willing to come to your home. If you are not in the same city as the defendant all paperwork and payments can be handled electronically or over the phone.
When will the bail agent post the bond?
The bail agent posts the bond after the premium has been paid and any collateral has been signed over.
How long will it take for the defendant to be released from jail?
The process of bailing someone out can take a short time or several hours. It depends on the circumstances and how crowded the jail is.
What are the defendant's responsibilities once they've been released?
After the person has been released, they must show up for all court proceedings and meet any conditions set by the bail agent.
What happens if the defendant doesn't show up for their court date?
If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail agent will be required to pay the full bail amount. If this happens or if the defendant violates any bail conditions, the bail agent will locate the defendant and take them back to jail. If the defendant does not make their court date you could lose any collateral that was signed over with the bond, but as long the defendant complies with the terms set by the bail agent and shows up for all court dates, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
How long do I have to abide by the terms of the bond?
Once the trial is over you are no longer obligated to the bond. It does not matter whether the defendant was found innocent or guilty.