How Bail Bonds Work

When an individual is arrested for a crime, normally that person will be taken to a local law enforcement station for booking, prior to incarceration in a police precinct or county jail. Once arrested and booked, the defendant has several options for release pending the outcome of his case. Posting a bail bond involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by a bail agent and the individual posting bail. The bail agent guarantees that the defendant will appear in court on each occasion that the judge requests him to appear.

Posting Bail and Co-signing

For this bail bond service, the defendant is charged a percentage of the bail amount. Prior to the posting of a bail bond, the defendant or the co-signer must guarantee the bail payment in full if the defendant should fail to appear in court. Typically, a family member or close friend will post bail and co-sign. Co-signers usually need to be employed and either own or rent a home in the same area. In the case that the defendant skips bail, the co-signer is immediately responsible for the full amount of bail.