Bail Bonds: Frequently Asked Questions

May 5, 2022

When a person is arrested and jailed in the United States, he or she may be released under certain conditions. Usually, one of these conditions is the payment of bail. Bail is used as collateral to ensure that the defendant cooperates with the legal process. Unfortunately, many people are unable to pay the entire bail amount; in these situations, a bail bond agency can help.

What Is a Bail Bond?

A bail bond is a special type of short-term loan. The defendant pays a non-refundable fee, which is typically 10-15% of the total amount. Then, a bail bond agent, also called a bail bondsman, pays the bail. If the defendant abides by the conditions set by the court, the court refunds the bond to the agency.

If the defendant flees or fails to appear in court, the court holds the bond agency responsible for the bail. The agency must then attempt to collect payment from the defendant. For this reason, bail bond agencies may require additional collateral or ask that the defendant check in periodically with the agency.

Can a Bail Bond Agent Negotiate a Lower Bail?

The amount of bail is set by the court. Unfortunately, Potter County bail bonds agents do not have the authority to negotiate with the court. However, a lawyer may be able to negotiate a lower bail. The eighth amendment prohibits unreasonable bail amounts.

Is Good Credit Required To Obtain a Bail Bond?

The bail bond agency may run a credit check. Depending on the results, the agency may require a co-signer for the bail bond. If the defendant does not appear in court and cannot be located, the agency will attempt to collect payment from the co-signer.

Are Bail Bonds a Scam?

Many people assume that bail bond agencies are shady operations that engage in unethical practices. In reality, bail bonds are regulated like any other type of loan. Bail bond agencies are subject to licensing requirements and restrictions on the fees they are allowed to charge.

Is a Bail Bond Agent a Bounty Hunter?

Bail bond agents and bounty hunters are not the same, but they often work closely together. If a defendant fails to appear in court, the agency may need to send a bounty hunter to locate the fugitive and collect the debt.

For people who have been arrested and jailed, money is often an obstacle to obtaining release. A licensed and reputable bail bond agency can help relieve the financial burden of posting bail.