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How do bail bonds work?
A bail bond is a contract between the bail agent (bondsman), the courts, and the person posting the bail (cosigner). The bail agent is the person who is responsible for the defendant showing up for all their court appearances. Money is required by the court as an incentive to keep the defendant from fleeing once released. The bail agent gets a portion of the bond as their fee. Notes or other collateral are required to make sure that the bail agent will get paid!
How the amount of bail is set?
The amount of money required for bail is set by the court and is dependent on the severity of the crime as well as how much of a flight risk the defendant is. The bail agent gets a percentage of the bail amount decided by the judge for that particular defendant.
What is the bondsman's role?
The bail agent provides a guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear in court when summoned by the judge. The defendant will also have to check in regularly with the bail agent.
Bail bonds are granted when a family member or friend contacts the bail agent before the defendant is released. Arrangements are made for the posting of a bail. After an agreement is signed, the bail agent posts a bond for the amount of the bail, to guarantee the defendant’s return to court.
If the defendant fails to check in, and the bail agent or the cosigner is unable to locate the defendant, the cosigner is immediately responsible for the full amount of the bail. After the defendant is located and arrested by the bail agent, the cosigner is responsible for all of the bail agent’s expenses while looking for the defendant.