How do bail bonds work?

Typically, a bail amount is set by the local court jurisdiction following the arrest of a defendant. A family member, a close friend, or sometimes the defendant will contact a bail agent to arrange for the posting of the bail bond.

The family member or friend who guarantees the bond, also known as the indemnitor, cosigner, or guarantor, will complete paperwork and pay the premium, which is a percentage of the bond amount. By signing the paperwork, the indemnitor is guaranteeing that he or she will pay the full amount of the bond if the defendant fails to appear in court. Typically, collateral is taken from the indemnitor to secure the guarantee


What is a bail bond?

A bail bond is a financial guarantee made by or on behalf of a criminal defendant that is used to guarantee their appearance in court through the end of their trial upon release from custody. Failure by the defendant to appear will result in a bond forfeiture.


What is a Cosigner?

A Cosigner is a person who agrees to be financially responsible for the full amount of the bail bond in the event the defendant fails to make a court appearance and cannot be returned to court. A Cosigner is responsible for paying any bail bond costs incurred as a result of the defendant missing a court date. If there is more than one Cosigner on a bail bond, they are jointly and severally liable. This means the money could be collected from one or both of them.


How much does this all cost?

The typical cost is 10% of the actual bail amount. There can be an additional fee for travel, depending on the location of the jail.