How Bail Bonds Work FAQ

Who and what determines a person's bail amount?
Why do I need to hire a bail agent?
What information do I need when contacting a bail agent?
Where do I go to post the bond?
When will the bail agent post the bond?
How long will it take for the defendant to be released from jail?
What are the defendant's responsibilities once they've been released?
What happens if the defendant doesn't show up for their court date?
How long do I have to abide by the terms of the bond?Type your paragraph here.

How Does The Bail Bonds Process Work?
What Should I Know Before I Contact A Bail Agent?
How Do I Get A Bail Bond?
Do I Get My Money Back After The Case Is Over?
What If I Think The Defendant Is Not Going To Show Up For Court After I Have Posted The Bond?
Can The Defendant Leave The State Or The Country While On Bond?
Can A Bail Agent Discount The Fees On The Premium?
Are Some Bondsmen Less Expensive Than Others?
What Do Bondsmen Accept As Collateral?
What Happens If The Defendant Gets Re-Arrested While Out On Bond?
How Did The Bail Bond System Get Started?
What If Where I Live Doesn't Have Private Bail?
Need To Find a Trusted Bail Agent?

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding the bail process is not always easy. All-Pro Bail Bonds is here to answer all of your bail questions. If you do not find the answer to your question below, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is a bail bond?
What does bail cost?
How does bail work?
How can I save money?
How long does the bail process take?
Can I start the bail process over the phone?
What forms of payment do you accept?
What if I do not have all the money?
Do I need collateral?
How long will it take for the arrested individual to get out of jail?
Do I get my money back once the case is completed?
What are the co-signor’s responsibilities?
What are the arrested individual’s responsibilities?
What if the arrested individual fails to go to court?
Can I post bail for a warrant?
How do I make payments on my bail bond account?
What is bail exoneration?Type your paragraph here.



How Bail Works
 
1. How does Bail work?
2. How much does a Bail Bond cost?
3. How long before the defendant is released from jail?
4. My friend or relative was arrested. What do I do?
5. I live in another area, can I still help?
6. What is your refund policy?

What Should I Know Before I Contact A Bail Agent?

There is certain information that a bail agent will need in order to help you:

Where is the person in custody? (Make sure that you ask the person in custody where they are located including the city, state, and the name of jail).
What is the full name and booking number of person in jail? The bail agent will need this information in order to contact the jail. The bail agent can get the booking number for you if you forgot or if it was not available.
How much is the bail? The bail agent will get this information when they contact the jail if you do not have it. With the bail amount, the bail bondsman can tell you the amount it will cost to post a bond and requirements to get the person out of jail.

How Do I Get A Bail Bond?

There are four ways in which a person may be released from custody.

You can use a bondsman.
You can post cash for the full amount of the bond with the court or jail.
You can use real property (such as a home or a lot) with the court.
And lastly the judge can decide to let the defendant go on their own recognizance.

Do I Get My Money Back After The Case Is Over?

There are a few exceptions to this but you do not get your premium back that you paid to the bonding office. This fee is what allowed the defendant to get out of jail and is fully earned once the defendant is out of custody. For example if the defendant gets rearrested a week later you get no portion nor a refund of any money. If the bondsman fails to live up to his end of the contract then and only then you may be entitled to a refund of some kind.

What If I Think The Defendant Is Not Going To Show Up For Court After I Have Posted The Bond?

There are remedies that can be done here as well, contact the bondsmen as soon as possible so that they can discuss your option in full detail with you. You can read more about what to do when a person fails to show up for their court appearance.

Can The Defendant Leave The State Or The Country While On Bond?

You will have to get permission from the bonding office in writing before attempting to do so. If the court has given you direct instructions not to leave the state or country you must then get permission from the bail agent and the court before leaving. Otherwise you are subject to arrest.

Can A Bail Agent Discount The Fees On The Premium?

The rate that you pay a bail agent depends on the state's statutes and regulations. For example, in some states, there are companies that can legally charge 8%, while the allowable premium is set at 10% for others. If a company that agrees to discount their fee, they may lose their license. Some companies try and lead you into believing that you will receive a discount but in the end actually charge you the whole amount. Always ask to see a rate chart if you feel that you are being wrongly charged. If you are interested in the allowable bail bonds premiums, you can visit our bail cost page.

Are Some Bondsmen Less Expensive Than Others?

Like discounts, the general costs in your area depend on the locale's statutes and regulations. Bonding agents are generally licensed and regulated by the state. The guiding principle is that the premium rates are not to be "excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory." If you are interested in the cheapest bail bonds in your area, you can visit here to find out what the rates that allowed by law in your area.

What Do Bondsmen Accept As Collateral?

Each bonding office will have their own standards but for the most part you can expect them to accept various forms of bail collateral. Some example of collateral include:

Real estate
Cars
Credit cards
Stocks
Bonds
Jewelry
Personal credit
Bank accounts

What Happens If The Defendant Gets Re-Arrested While Out On Bond?

Once the defendant is back in custody the bond can be surrendered and your liability will be terminated. There are a few problems here: if you decided to surrender the bond you will lose the premium that was paid, and if you decided to get the defendant out on bond again, you will now have to post two new bonds and pay the premium on both bonds again.

How Did The Bail Bond System Get Started?

The bail bond system arises out of common law. The posting money or property in exchange for temporary release pending a trial dates back to 13th century England. The modern commercial practice of bail bonds has continued to evolve in the United States while it has since ceased to exist in most modern nation-states. You can read more about the history of bail bonds here.

What If Where I Live Doesn't Have Private Bail?

If you don’t have a surety or live in an area that does not allow private bail bonds, which include Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C., your options are most likely through the court and the local jail. Read this article about what to do in a state that doesn't have private bail.

Need To Find a Trusted Bail Agent?

If you need to hire a bail agent, you can search throughout the United States for a pre-screened bail agent with AboutBail's trusted network.

Who and what determines a person's bail amount?

The bail amount is set by a judge during a bail hearing. The judge will consider a variety of factors, including the severity of the crime, previous convictions, the defendant's ties to the community, family, and whether or not they have steady employment. 

[How Bail Bonds Work Bail Amount]

Why do I need to hire a bail agent?

If you cannot afford bail, you need to hire a bail agent. You will pay a small fee to the agent, who will take on the responsibility of the full bail amount. 

What information do I need when contacting a bail agent?

When contacting a bail agent, make sure you know:

The full name of the person in jail
What jail they are in
Their booking number
The charges
Any other information you can get

Where do I go to post the bond?

The bail agent will usually meet you at the jail to post the bond, though in some cases they may be willing to come to your home. If you are not in the same city as the defendant all paperwork and payments can be handled electronically or over the phone.

[How Bail Bonds Work Bail Cost Example]

When will the bail agent post the bond?

The bail agent posts the bond after the premium has been paid and any collateral has been signed over.

How long will it take for the defendant to be released from jail?

The process of bailing someone out can take a short time or several hours. It depends on the circumstances and how crowded the jail is. 

What are the defendant's responsibilities once they've been released?

After the person has been released, they must show up for all court proceedings and meet any conditions set by the bail agent. 

What happens if the defendant doesn't show up for their court date?

If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail agent will be required to pay the full bail amount. If this happens or if the defendant violates any bail conditions, the bail agent will locate the defendant and take them back to jail.

[fugitive recovery]

If the defendant does not make their court date you could lose any collateral that was signed over with the bond, but as long the defendant complies with the terms set by the bail agent and shows up for all court dates, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

How long do I have to abide by the terms of the bond?Once the trial is over you are no longer obligated to the bond. It does not matter whether the defendant was found innocent or guilty.Type your paragraph here.Type your paragraph here.

What is a bail bond?

A bail bond is a contract between the court and a licensed bail agent that states the bail agent will ensure the appearance of an arrested individual for all required hearings or pay the face amount of bail to the court.


What does bail cost?

In general, the standard industry rate for bail bonds is 10% of the face amount of bail. For example, if the face amount of bail is $10,000, the fee is $1,000. However, various group discounts (military, union, AARP, property owners, etc.) are available to individuals who qualify. For more information about our rates, contact your local All-Pro Bail Bonds at 877.647.4701 and an agent will be available to assist you.NOTE: In California, all bail agents are required to file a notice with the Department of Insurance indicating the rates they will charge the public. Bail agents are also required to publish their rates prominently on the wall inside their branch office.


How does bail work?

If an individual is arrested and bail is set by the court, the individual can secure his/her release while the case is pending by placing cash or property equal to the face amount of the bail as collateral with the court. Once the case is concluded, the court will return the collateral to the depositor.If the arrested individual does not have cash or property sufficient to cover the face amount of bail, they can use the services of a bail agent or “bondsman.” The bail agent agrees to secure the release of the accused individual in return for a fee between 8-10% of the face amount of the bail. The arrested individual is also required to provide a co-signor that will take responsibility for the face amount of bail.Once the fee has been negotiated and a co-signor agrees to take responsibility for the bail, the bail agent delivers the bond to the jail and the arrested individual is released from custody.


How can I save money?

Discounts are available to both arrested individuals and co-signors. If an arrested individual or their co-signor is a member of a qualified group such as the AARP, military, veterans or labor union, they will receive a discount of 20% (8% vs. 10%) on bail. Arrested individuals who hire private defense counsel also qualify for bail at 8%. For more information about saving money on bail, call All-Pro Bail Bonds at 877.647.4701.


How long does the bail bond process take?

In most cases, the bail bond process is timely and efficient. The bail agent will ask the caller a series of questions to qualify the bond. Once the qualification process is complete, the agent makes arrangements with the caller to visit the office and complete the process. The bond is then delivered to the jail and arrested individual is released.The time between the first call to the bail agency and the time the arrested individual is released is usually between 30 minutes to six hours. The primary delay is the time it takes the jail to process the arrested individual for release once the bond has been delivered to the jail. All-Pro Bail Bonds can not expedite the release of an arrested individual once the bond has been delivered to the jail.


Can I start the bail process over the phone?

If a loved one or friend is in jail, you can speed-up the release process by calling your local All-Pro Bail Bonds office immediately. An agent will be available to assist you and will start the process of getting your friend or loved one out right now. The agent can even give you pre-approval over the phone and deliver your bond to the jail before you arrive at the office.


What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Western Union, personal checks, money orders and cash.


What if I do not have all the money?

If you do not have all the money, All-Pro Bail Bonds offers affordable interest-free payment plans to those who qualify. Don’t let the high cost of bail stand in the way of your friend or loved one getting out of jail. If you need help with financing, call All-Pro Bail Bonds at 877.647.4701. An agent is standing by to assist you with a variety of payment options.


Do I need collateral?

Although some bail bonds require the arrested individual or the co-signor to place collateral, many bonds can be done with just a signature guarantee.


How long will it take for the arrested individual to be released from jail?

Depending on jail release times, the bail process usually takes between 30 minutes to six hours. The bail agent has no control over the arrested individuals release once the bail bond is delivered to the jail. In some instances the arrested individual’s release may be delayed by a high number of other individuals who are also in the release process.


Do I get my money back?

The bail bond fee is non-refundable once the arrested individual is released from jail. Fees are also non-refundable regardless of whether the courts file formal charges against the arrested individual.If, for some reason, the jail does not release the defendant after bail has been posted, all monies are refundable to the individual who delivered them to the agency.


What are the co-signor’s responsibilities?

The co-signor has two (2) primary responsibilities. First, the co-signor is agreeing to the arrested individual’s required court appearances. Second, they agree to pay the face amount of bail if the arrested individual does not appear for a required hearing.NOTE: California law allows the bail agent up to 360 days (1 year) to return the arrested individual to the court before the bond must be paid. If an arrested individual does not appear for a required hearing, call All-Pro Bail Bonds at 877.647.4701 and arrange for a bail bond reinstatement. A bail bond reinstatement allows the arrested individual to return to the court, without arrest, and resume his/her case.


What are the arrested individual’s responsibilities?

The arrested individual is responsible for appearing in court on all required hearings. Some arrested individuals are also responsible for paying the fees due for the bond.


What if the arrested individual misses court?

If an arrested individual misses a required hearing, the most important thing to do is call All-Pro Bail Bonds and arrange for a bail reinstatement. A bail reinstatement is a notice from the bail agent to the court stating that the arrested individual plans to voluntarily return to the court and place the matter back on calendar. The notice also states that the bail agent agrees to remain responsible for the bond.NOTE: California law allows the bail agent up to 360 days (1 year) to return the arrested individual to the court before the bond must be paid. If an arrested individual does not appear for a required hearing, call All-Pro Bail Bonds at 877.647.4701 and arrange for a bail bond reinstatement.If the arrested individual is unwilling to appear in court, call All-Pro Bail Bonds immediately at 877.647.4701. As a co-signor, you are responsible for the face amount of the bail until the defendant is returned to the court.


Can I post bail for a warrant?

If you or a loved one has an outstanding warrant, you can avoid the inconvenience of being arrested by allowing All-Pro Bail Bonds to post a warrant bond to clear the warrant. Under most circumstances, you do not need to be present and we can call you with a court date. For more information, call All-Pro Bail Bonds at 877.647.4701. An agent is standing by to assist you.


How do I make payments on my bail bond account?

Our Account Services division is open 8am-5pm M-Sat at 877.707.0008.

Payments by mail should be mailed to:
All-Pro Bail Bonds
Account Services Division
P.O. BOX 131658
Carlsbad, CA 92013

You can also contact your local All-Pro Bail Bonds branch office at 877.647.4701. See our list of branch locations for more information.


What is bail exoneration?

An exoneration is when the defendants case is over and the bondsman and co-signor are officially relieved of the liability on the bond. However, although the court case is over it does not mean the monies that you agreed to pay are no longer due. The full amount of the fee you were charged when the bond was written is due-regardless of the outcome of the case. In essence the bail agent loaned you the money to place up with the court.Type your paragraph here.




How long before a defendant is released from jail?
  
It depends on the jail. Many of the smaller facilities are able to release inmates as quickly as two hours, unfortunately, the larger facilities can take as long as six hours after the posting of the bond.  The Minuteman staff will do everything they can to insure that the inmate is released as soon as possible. Other factors, such as the inmate coming back from court that day or shift changes at the jail may also affect the release time.
Top
 
My friend or relative was arrested. What do I do?
  
We know that you may be stressed once you get a phone call that your friend or relative is in jail. Don't panic. Minuteman Bail Bonds has helped thousands of families just like yours get their friends or relatives out of jail quickly. Just call us and let us know the name of the arrestee and where they are being held. If your are not sure where they are, we can help find them for you.
Top
 
I live in another area, can I still help?
  
Yes. All of the paperwork and payments can be handled over the phone, through the Internet, or via fax. We routinely email or fax the necessary paperwork to anyone signing on behalf of the defendant. The whole process can be done in as little as twenty minutes.



What is your refund policy?
  
If an event occurs during the posting of a bond and the jail will not allow a bond to be posted, all monies will be returned promptly.