Bail is an amount given by the court to a defendant who is accused of a crime to ensure he or she returns to court. A bond is an insurance document that guarantees the court that the defendant will appear each time he or she is so ordered by the court.
A bail bond may be obtained for the release of the accused upon qualifying the indemnitor (co-signer) for the bond. The indemnitor enters into a contractual agreement and guarantee’s the defendant’s appearance in court. Also, collateral in the form of real property, cash on hand, letter of credit, money market accounts, stocks, etc. may be used to secure the bail bond.
The indemnitor (co-signer) is financially liable for the bail bond. The indemnitor's liability is limited to the full face value of the bail bond.
The bail bond is good until the case is closed or the charges are dropped.
Most bail bond premiums are ten percent of the full bail amount. For example, if the full bail amount is $10,000.00, the premium (fee) for the bail bond is $1,000.00. These fees are established and regulated by the Department of Insurance and the local courts.
A bail bond can be posted at most courts and jails. Most jails accept bail bonds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 of the year. A licensed bail agent will confidentially discuss your situation and assist with all of your bail bond needs. Because people are arrested both day and night, most bond agents are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Before you sign as a co-signer for a bail bond, please be aware that as a co-signer you are legally responsible for your family, friend, or significant other appearing in court each time. If he or she does not appear as scheduled, you are left holding the bag and responsible for paying the bail bond full amount. This is a serious commitment. Think carefully before you agree.