Bail bonds might seem confusing, and each state has slightly different systems, but the basics behind the process remain the same. Knowing how bail bonds work can be extremely beneficial if you find yourself, or someone close to you, in a position to need this information.
A bail bond is the defendant’s promise to the court that there will be money paid out in the event that they do not return to the court for their trial. In the meantime, the bail bond allows the defendant to remain out of custody until they are found guilty in a court of law.
The bail cannot be a small amount and needs to be high enough that it convinces the defendant to not skip out on trial. Failure to attend a court day will result in an arrest warrant, barring any significant excuse for missing the trial, such as injury or misunderstanding. If the excuse is invalid, the court keeps the bail amount.
A bail agent changes a non-refundable amount to the defendant and has the ability to arrest their client with the means of bringing them to court if they attempt to skip out. In the event that the defendant is found innocent, all the money is returned to the surety, the person who posted the cash bond. If the defendant put up their own cash bond, the court is free to deduct any fees or fines assessed during trial before returning the money.