What Does a Bail Bondsman Do?


At Bail Hotline, we are constantly getting questions like, “What exactly is a bail bondsman’s job?” Today, we hope to answer these questions to give you a better idea of what a bondsman’s role is in releasing people from jail and how bail works in a general sense.

The Bail Bondsman

A bondsman or bail bond agent is a professional that pledges money to a courthouse or jail to get people out of jail. That is a simple definition, of course, and we will go more in-depth throughout this page.

As a side note, bond agents act as your point of contact to a jail. Friends and family members of an accused person will need to contact a bail agent depending on the amount of that person’s bail. Why? Because certain crimes require high amounts that you may not be able to pay in full. In addition, a bail agent makes the process much simpler and quicker which allows a defendant to leave jail and go back to his or her everyday life.

The bondsman’s job is to secure funds to get people out of jail. It sounds easy, doesn’t it?

The thing to know is that a bondsman’s experience is key to getting through the process. For starters, the amount of bail required to get someone out of jail varies based on the crime. If, for instance, bail is set at $10,000, the agent will work with you to figure out a way to cover those costs without you paying more than $1,000 as a premium (or service charge).

For defendants with moderate bail, friends and family members will only have to front 10 percent of the amount to the bail agent. The agency may require these people to sign over property, jewelry, valuables, cars and other forms of collateral as a guarantee. This becomes important if the accused skips a court date, but more on that later.

All said and done, a bail bond agent is the most efficient (and cheapest) way to get someone out of jail. They work to ensure that the property you cosign is able to cover the full amount of bail in the case that a defendant does not appear in court. If this happens, it is then the bondsman’s job to try and contact the accused or, in some states, send out an agent (often called a “bounty hunter”) to bring the accused back to jail. If this happens, the collateral you signed over may be at risk because the bail agency’s money is taken by the court.

The trick to finding a bail bondsman is making sure the agency has a solid reputation and the customer service you deserve. Fortunately for California residents, Bail Hotline has dozens of offices, decades of combined experience and everything you need to get someone out of jail. The bondsmen with Bail Hotline believe in what they do and make the process as quick as possible to help you get someone out of jail.

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