What Is the Bail Bond Process?


When a person has been arrested for a crime, she may be released on bail. The amount of the bail depends on the type of crime that has been committed. The more serious the charge is, the higher the bail will be. Most people can't not afford to pay the full amount so they use a bail bond to get out of jail.


  • Bail is used as a surety bond to ensure that the defendant returns to court. If the defendant does not show on scheduled court dates, she will forfeit the bond and a warrant for her arrest will be issued.

How Bail Bonds Function

  • If you are arrested for murder and the bail is set for $500,000, you can contact a bail bonds company to post the bail. The bail bond will cost the defendant 10 percent of the bail amount. Some companies will take property as collateral. The bail bond amount is non-refundable. Once the bondsman has been paid, he will post bail and you are released. Depending on when the bond company is paid, it may take a few hours to be released.

Expert Insight

  • On a case such as murder and other serious offenses, paying a bondsman might be a waste of resources for the defendant and their family. It might be better to spend the money on an attorney.

Bail Review

  • If the bail is set really high, a defendant can ask for a bail review in front of a judge. This gives the defendant the chance to plead her case, show support from family and friends and provide the judge some insight to the sort of person the defendant is. A bail review can be asked for at the arraignment and done immediately. Consult an attorney for further information.


  • In the American legal system, you are innocent until proven guilty, but an innocent person will stay in jail and not be released if she can't post bail or a judge decides that the case is serious enough to not allow bail.

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