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How a Bail Bond Works

Posting a bail bond involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by a bail agency, surety, and the indemnitor (usually a relative or close friend). The bail bond is a financial guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear in court each and every time the court orders for the crime in which they were bailed. For this service, the bail agent charges a premium for the service (typically 10% of the full bail amount). In addition, the bail agency may require physical collateral, the signing of a bail bond agreement (contract) or both, depending on the individual circumstances. Often times a defendant can be bailed out of jail with only the signature of a responsible indemnity.

After an agreement is reached between the bail agent and the indemnitor and all fees are paid, the bail agent physically posts a bail bond for the full amount with the jail or court. The defendant is released on bail and given a date and location to appear in court.

If the defendant fails to appear in court, the indemnitor is responsible for paying the full amount of the bail. If the defendant is located and arrested by the bail agent, the indemnity is responsible for all expenses incurred by the bail agent while looking for the defendant.

Note: It is very important that the indemnitor feels confident the defendant will appear in all of his/her court appearances or posting bail is not recommended.

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