Legal

What Is a Bail Bond and How Do They Work?

If you have ever listened to a court case, you have likely heard a statement that resembles “The defendant may be released on $100,000 bail.” Do you know what that really means? Does that mean they have to come up with that much money and then they can be released from jail permanently? This is not the case. Here is a clear definition of what bail is and also what an example of pennsylvania bail bonds are. 

What Is Bail?

Set by a judge, bail is a determined amount of money that is designed to make sure that the person in jail, known as the defendant, will show up for court. It is an insurance policy of sorts. If the defendant is able to come up with the full amount in cash, then they are able to be released until their court date. However, since the amount is generally set so high, most cannot find the cash to pay it on their own. As a result, they seek out a bail bondsman who posts a bail bond for them. 

What Is a Bail Bondsman?

A bail bondsman is a person or agency that agrees to accept money and property as bail, in exchange for the release of a defendant from jail. It is essentially a guarantee that the defendant will appear for trial when the court has scheduled them to be there. 

How Does a Bail Bond Work?

After the judge sets the bail amount and the defendant determines they can’t pay it, they seek help from a bail bondsman. In order to post a bail bond, the defendant must come up with ten percent of the bail amount that was set by the judge. Next, the bail bondsman requires that the rest of the bail is secured in the form of collateral. This collateral may include the deed to a house, jewelry, or stocks for example. The defendant may seek out help from their relatives if they don’t have anything to offer up. 

Last but not least, it is important to mention that if the defendant doesn’t show up for court, the collateral that was put forth will be used to pay the court the remaining 90 percent of the bail. This is why it is crucial that if you are helping someone post bail, you must know that you can trust them 100 percent.

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