What is a Bail Bonds Business and How Does it Actually Work?

All bail bond companies are certified agents through the State Department of Insurance who have to run their companies according to State Laws.  The only difference is the amount of money they will take as down payments or different payment plans, but all are operating under the same state laws. So, I’m sure you have heard of that TV show “The Bounty Hunter?”  where he chases after people to skip out on their bail. This is actually true for bail bond companies, however not every person runs.  If an inmate runs and doesn’t complete their court appearances the court will issue a bench warrant and give the bail bonds company 6 months to bring that person back to court or back into custody. If the bounty hunter can’t find them, then they resume full responsibility to pay the court whatever the bail was. A lot of criminals are too stupid to hide for long and usually get caught. 

You might have seen on the news that John Smith was released on X amount of bail. So what does this really mean? What is bail exactly? How does it differ from a Bail BOND? When someone is arrested for their crime committed (or sometimes not committed), they are held in jail until their court date, until the judge releases them, or until they are released on bail. 

What is Bail?

Bail is a set amount of money that acts as insurance between the court and the person in jail (the defendant.) Defendants have the option to pay their bail, put of pocket, in cash, but many cannot afford this. Since bail is most often set at a high amount, and defendants are financially inept to pay it themselves, this is when you would hire Reidy Bail Bonds agent, who will then post a bail bond for the defendant. 

What is a Bail Bond?

A Bail Bond is a type of surety bond provided by a surety Reidy Bail Bonds company through a bail agent, such as Debbie Martinez or her other Bail Bondsman that secures the release of a defendant from jail. Here are two types of Bail Bonds:

  • Criminal Bail Bond: used in criminal cases and guarantees that a defendant appears for trial when called upon by the court and guarantees payment for any fines or penalties that are decided against the defendant.
  • Civil Bail Bond: used in civil cases and guarantee the payment of the debt, plus interest and costs, assessed against the defendant.

How do Bail Bonds Work?

Firstly, a judge sets a bail amount. If the defendant cannot pay the bail amount on their own, they can seek help from a Bail bondsman, such as Reidy, in the form of a Bail Bond. To post a Bail Bond, a defendant is usually required to pay a Bail bondsman 10% of the bail amount, which is the amount coming out of their pocket in cash.

The Bail bondsman will then secure the rest of the bail amount in the form of collateral. If the defendant does not have enough collateral, the Bail Bondsman might seek out relatives and friends to assist in covering the bail. 

Oftentimes, an additional cash payment plus full collateral is required for a Bail Bond to be posted.

What happens next depends on after being released.

  • If defendant fails to appear in court: The Bail Bond is forfeited and the court requires the remaining 90% of the bail to be paid. The Bail Bondsman will use the defendant’s collateral (house, jewelry, stocks, etc) to pay the court the remaining bail amount.
  • If a defendant does appear for court: Upon conclusion of the court case, the Bail Bond is dissolved and the collateral is returned to the person who posted it. The Bail bondsman keeps the 10% cash fee as profit.

Bail Bond Example

For example, John Smith is arrested. The court set John’s bail at $20,000. John wants to be released from jail but he cannot afford to pay $30,000 in cash, he will then hire a company like Reidy to help post Bail Bond for him. Reidy then would require 10% of that, making it $2,000 to post a Bail Bond and get him released from jail. 

For the other $19,000 of bail, the Reidy would secure collateral from John and/or John’s family. Collateral could be in the form of a car, a house, jewelry, etc. 

  • As long as John appears at all necessary court dates, the Bail Bondsman requires no more money and the Bail Bond is dissolved when John’s case is closed. John’s would get his $19,000 in collateral returned, but he would not get the $2,000 back; the bondsman would keep this as their fees.
  • In the worst-case scenario, John does not appear in court; the bondsman would have to pay the court the remaining $19,000 of bail. To do this, the bondsman would use John’s collateral.

If John was a more privileged person and could afford to spend $20,000 in cash, for his own bail he would be entitled to a refund at the conclusion of the case, regardless of the outcome. 

To hire Cal West Bail Bond Agent call them at 1-833-272-2245


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