The latest 2013 free information, tips, and secrets about how to get bail everywhere in the country.

IMPORTANT: If you need to arrange bail now, then read our simple step-by-step guide immediately and it will explain what you need to know about how bail works in your case. For obvious reasons, try not to leave someone in jail any longer than is necessary.

How do bail bonds work?

Because of my experience I get a lot of questions about the process. So I created this site of free tips, secrets and information about bail bonds. A bond is a surety pledge of money or property as bail that will guarantee a defendant will appear in court. This is usually done through a bail bond agent (or bondsman) who in most cases, must be licensed.  If the defendant does not appear in court, the bail agent forfeits the money.   We have also heard of it referred to as bailsbond, bell bonds, b bonds, bailbonds, bail books, and jail bonds but those are inaccurate spellings or words.

The fees vary depending on how bail bonds work in the particular state and jurisdiction of the case. While the typical fee for the bail process is 10-15% of the total amount of the bail, some jurisdictions have varying requirements as to how much a bondsman can charge for providing bail and they have different bail bond requirements.  Las Vegas for example, the fee is set at 15% by the State of Nevada’s Division of Insurance.

How does bail work for local or state bonds?

First of all, regarding how do bail bonds work, it is important to remember that a bail bond has nothing to do with the person’s innocence or guilt. It is just a guarantee that this person will appear at all future court dates. Nothing more.

To understand how bail bonds work and to obtain one, you have two options:

  • how do bail bonds workThe first is cash bail. You pay the entire bail amount up front and when the person has finished all their court obligations, you will get the money back, less any fees and other costs. Because the rules for how do bail bonds work vary greatly by jurisdiction, you should check with the clerk to verify forms of payment accepted and what other options or restrictions are involved. There are some bail bond agents who will help you navigate this for a flat fee and explain to you how paying bail works. WARNING: there are serious consequences if the defendant misses any court dates. Your bail money may be forfeited, your collateral may be taken, the defendant’s information is entered into the NCIC nationwide fugitive database, and when the defendant is caught, they will no longer be eligible for bail. If you are posting bail for someone else, it is important to be clear about how do bail bonds work or you could find yourself out of a lot of money. TIP:If you are apprehensive about posting bail for someone and might be afraid they will skip bail, then when you email the bondsman, ask if they offer bail bonds pick up. If after posting bail, you feel there is a chance the defendant will not make their court appearances and skip bail, you can ask the bondsman to revoke your bail liability and pick up the defendant. This process allows you to say that you don’t want to be held responsible if this person becomes unreliable. There is usually a fee for this, and the defendant might be detained again, but it is better than losing your home.
  • The second option is to go through a bail bondsman. The bondsman may, or may not require collateral, depending on the amount needed and the history of the person needing the bail. They will post bail, and charge you a fee for the service. Click here for more information about how bail bondsman work. TIP: I asked a bondsman what was the one thing someone should always ask for if they are strapped for cash. His reply was that sometimes financing is available, often with ZERO interest, so always be sure to ask about it. WARNING: should the person who was bailed not show up for a court appearance, then a warrant will be issued and the bail bonds company may keep your collateral, and in some cases secure a bounty hunter.

How does bail work for federal bail bonds?

Federal bail bonds are different than the typical local or state bail bond.

  • They require more work for the bondsman so the fees are usually higher, often 15% compared to the usual 10%.
  • They are posted for criminal cases in a U.S. District Court House.
  • How do bail bonds work for Nebia hearings? Most federal courts add a bail sufficiency requirement to the bond, which may be referred to as a Nebbia, Nebia Hearing, bail source Hearing or 1275 bail sufficiency hearing. The purpose of this hearing is to provide proof to the government prosecutors that the collateral used for the bond is from legitimate and legal sources.
  • To understand how do bail bonds work for Nebia hearings, a good bail bondsman will help with the motion for the Nebia hearing, present the Nebia Proffer to the judge, and provide testimony regarding the origin of the premium and the collateral used for the bond.

This of course, will be different for probate bail bonds as well depending on the state.

A brief list of types of bail bonds

Surety bonds
Immigration bonds
Civil bonds
Federal bonds
Signature bonds
Child custody bonds

IMPORTANT: being arrested and requiring bail is a serious issue and the rules differ in different jurisdictions. I recommend contacting a bail bondsman by email for further questions and to understand how bail works in the jurisdiction of the arrest. Because of the nature of their business, they are usually quick to respond and are usually helpful. Their email and phone numbers are always clearly listed on their websites. Getting arrested can be overwhelming so getting a clear understanding about how do bail bonds work is important to minimize the harm that can come to the defendant.

For information regarding bail bonds from a scientific viewpoint, here is an article from Cornell University.

Nothing stated herein should be construed or interpreted to grant rights or remedies not otherwise granted under federal or state law. This information is provided as a public service and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice or representation by a lawyer or bail bondsman. We recommend you email a bail bondsman for more information about your situation and to get a better understanding about how do bail bonds work.

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