Do you go to jail if you’re indicted?

jail cell door black and white

If you are under investigation for a criminal offense, the prosecution may request a grand jury to decide whether there is enough evidence to charge you. If the grand jury finds you guilty, they will issue an indictment.

This indictment serves as a formal accusation that you have committed the offense, and the next steps can be a bit intimidating. In these cases, many people wonder, “do you go to jail if you’re indicted?” To help steer you in the right direction, let’s break down this question.

What is an indictment?

An indictment is a legal charge brought against a person or organization for a crime. Essentially, it is the first step in a criminal trial that indicates formal charges have been filed. In order to secure an indictment, a prosecutor must present evidence to a grand jury, which is a group of citizens tasked with determining whether there is probable cause to believe the accused committed the crime in question.

If the grand jury votes to indict, the accused will then be formally charged and will have to appear in court to face trial. Indictments serve as an important safeguard to ensure that individuals are not unjustly accused of crimes, as they require a high standard of evidence to move forward.

Related Content: Why is bail so expensive?

Do you go to jail if you’re indicted?

The answer to the question, “do you go to jail if you’re indicted?” is not simple to answer. It depends on a variety of factors such as the seriousness of the offense, your criminal history, the amount of evidence against you, and the conditions of your release. In some cases, you might be arrested immediately after receiving your indictment, and you could be detained until your trial, especially if the court feels that you pose a flight risk.

If you are indicted, you will typically need to appear in court to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, a judge will determine your sentence, while if you plead not guilty, your case will be scheduled for trial. Depending on the severity of your charges, you may have the option to get a bond or bail, which allows you to stay out of jail while waiting for your trial.

However, if you are indicted on a felony charge that carries a maximum prison sentence of more than one year, there is a chance that you could serve time in jail even before your trial. Usually, this occurs only if the prosecutor argues that you pose a danger to the community or the witness or are a flight risk. If this is the case, the court may order pretrial detention, which means you will be kept in jail until the judge makes a decision about your case.

If you are acquitted at the end of your trial, you will be free to go home, but if you are convicted at trial, you may face imprisonment. In some cases, it’s possible to negotiate a plea bargain, where you agree to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for a lighter sentence. Typically, this is done to avoid the risk of a harsher sentence if convicted at trial.

Related Content: Why would someone have a 2 million dollar bail?

Being indicted and possibly facing jail time is a stressful and challenging situation. However, it’s essential to remember that being indicted does not necessarily mean you are guilty, and you have the right to a fair trial. While jail is a possibility, it’s only a possibility, and your criminal defense attorney will work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome. The most important thing you can do is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your rights, fight the charges against you, and hopefully avoid jail time.

How much does a bail bond cost in California?

person signing bail bond paperwork

Being stuck in jail is never something that anyone wants to experience. But life happens, and you may find yourself in jail and needing to post bail. In California, bail bonds are widely used, and many people who are arrested require the assistance of a bail bond company to get out of jail.

But how much does a bail bond cost in California and what fees do you need to take into consideration? Let’s break it down.

How much is bond in California?

The first thing to consider when calculating the cost of a jail bond in California is the offense that led to the arrest. Each offense is assigned a bail schedule by the county where the arrest took place.

This bail schedule sets a standard amount for each type of offense, and the judge sets the bail amount at or below those amounts. For example, the bail amount for a misdemeanor traffic violation in California is about $500, while a felony drug charge could have a bail amount of $50,000 or more.

Another important factor to consider is the defendant’s criminal history. If the defendant has a history of failing to appear in court or has a criminal record, this may result in a higher bail amount. The judge may also impose additional conditions for release, such as monitoring or a higher bail amount.

It is also important to take into account the defendant’s financial situation. If the defendant is considerably wealthy, they may be given a higher bail. This is because they have higher access to resources that could help them evade arrest and court.

Keep Reading: What affects the cost of bail?

How much does a bail bond cost in California?

In California, there are several ways to post bail. The first and most traditional method is to pay the full amount of bail in cash, an option that is not always practical. This is where bail bond companies come in.

But how much do bail bonds cost in California?

In short, bail bond companies post bail on behalf of the defendant. In doing so, they typically charge a non-refundable fee of around 10% of the bail amount. For example, if the bail is set at $10,000, the bail bond fee would be around $1,000.

After paying this fee, the bail bond company will provide the court with a bond guaranteeing the bail amount and ensuring the defendant’s appearance in court. The bail bond company will ask the defendant or the family members to sign a contract that guarantees the defendant will appear in court. If the accused fails to appear in court, the bail bond company will be responsible for paying the full bail amount.

Related Content: What happens if you don’t pay your bail bondsman?

Collateral Requirement

Collateral is any property that a defendant owns that they can use to secure the bail bond. It’s a guarantee that if the defendant doesn’t appear in court, the bond company can seize that property as compensation.

Collateral can be in the form of property such as real estate or a vehicle, and its value must cover the full bail amount. If a defendant fails to show up in court, the bail bond company will sell the collateral to cover the cost of the bond.

Keep Reading: What can you use as collateral for a bond?

Bail Bond Payment Options

It can be difficult for defendants or their families to come up with the full bail amount and even the 10% bail bond fee. For this reason, many bail bond companies offer payment plans that can be customized to fit a range of budgets.

This means you can pay a portion of the amount upfront and arrange for monthly payments to cover the rest. It’s essential to discuss your payment options upfront to avoid any surprises along the way.

Related Content: How long do you have to pay off a bail bond?

Knowing the factors that influence bail bond costs in California can help you budget and plan accordingly. By understanding the bail schedule, bail bond fees, and collateral requirements, you can set realistic expectations and make informed decisions. Additionally, take the time to research different bail bond companies and compare their fees and payment options. This way, you can take advantage of the best options for your needs. 

Why is bail so expensive?

pink piggybank

When you or a loved one is facing jail time, the first order of business is to get them out of jail as soon as possible. But to get them out of jail, you’ll first have to post bail.

But of course, bail can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Because of this, many people are left wondering, “Why is bail so expensive and how can I get help with bail?”

Let’s break down the answers to these questions.

Why is bail so expensive?

The cost of bail can be a shock to those facing criminal charges, and the question, “Why is bail so expensive?” is a common one. Part of the answer lies in the legal system’s desire to ensure that defendants show up for their court dates.

When someone is released on bail, a financial stake is put up as collateral to guarantee that they will appear in court. If they fail to appear, that money is forfeit. That being said, the amount of bail must be high enough to encourage compliance. This means the amount set should also differ based on the defendants financial well-being.

Additionally, the severity of the charges a defendant faces can play a major role in setting bail. The more serious the charges, the higher the bail amount tends to be. This is typically true for cases involving phsycial assualt and murder.

Ultimately, the decision to set a high or low bail amount is up to the judge.

What should you do if you can’t afford bail?

If you find yourself unable to pay the high cost of bail, there are a few options available to you.

That being said, the most common option is to contact a bail bondsman who can post bail on your behalf. This is typically done in exchange for a fee (usually 10% of the total bail amount). This fee is non-refundalbe; however, it can be a lifesaver for those who can’t afford to pay the full bail amount upfront.

By working with a reputable bail bond company, you can regain your freedom and have peace of mind knowing that you have a team of legal professionals by your side. Don’t let a lack of funds keep you or your loved one behind bars.

Keep Reading: What happens to bail money if charges are dropped?

How does the bail bond process work?

A bail bond is essentially an agreement between the defendant, a bail bond agency, and the court that allows the defendant to be released from jail until their scheduled court date. The defendant or their loved ones pay a percentage of the bail amount to the bail bond agency, who then pays the full bail amount to the court in exchange for the defendant’s release.

The defendant is required to attend all court dates and follow any other conditions set by the court. If the defendant fails to appear in court or does not follow the court’s conditions, the bail will be revoked and the defendant could be sent back to jail.

To learn more about the bail bond process, check out these additional resources:

When it comes to posting bail, it’s important to know your options. By contacting a bail bondsman, you can get much-needed help during such a difficult time.

What happens to bond money when charges are dropped?

gavel and bail money signature

If you’re wondering, “What happens to bond money when charges are dropped?”, you’re not alone. The bail bond process can be confusing, especially if you’ve never been around someone who’s been arrested before. 

But don’t worry. Once charges have been dropped, you’re in the clear. Here’s what you need to know.

What’s the difference between bond and bail?

Before getting started, it’s important that you understand the difference between bond and bail.

Bail is the amount set by the court that, once paid, allows you to stay home as you await trial. Since many people can’t afford bail, they work with a bail bond company.

The bail bond company issues a bond, and they pay your total bail amount on your behalf. They typically only charge a 10% fee (10% of the total bail amount). So with that being said, if your charges are dropped what happens to your money? And is it different if you pay bail on your own or worked with a bail bond company?

Keep Reading: What percentage of a bond is bail?

What happens to bond money if charges are dropped?

Once the charges are dropped and all court proceedings are concluded, the court will release the bail money back to the individual who paid it. This is an important distinction. Whoever paid the bail, will receive the refund. In other words, if a bail bond company paid bail on your behalf, they will obviously get that money refunded back to them.

But what about that 10% fee?

The 10% fee you paid the bail bond company to post bail on your behalf is considered a non-refundable payment. So in this case, even if you’re innocent and charges are fully dismissed, the bond money is not refunded back to you. This is how bail bond companies make money, and it’s important for you to understand this before deciding whether or not you want to post bail or work with a bail bond company.

As a side note, the process of returning the bail money back to the payee might take some time – but eventually, the court system will reimburse the individual. It is always a good idea to keep in close contact with your legal team and the court during the process.

Related Content: How much do bail bond companies charge?

Do you get your bail money back if charges aren’t dropped?

If charges aren’t dropped and your loved one is found guilty of charges, you’ll still get your bail money back.

Bail is not a way for the court system to make money. It’s simply a way to make sure defendants return back to court. Because of this, bail money is refunded in whole once the bail bond process is complete.

But again, if you worked with a bail bond company, that money is not returned to you.

Keep Reading: Do you get bail money back if found guilty?

What happens if you don’t receive bail money back?

Going through the process of being arrested and posting bail can be stressful enough. The last thing anyone wants is for their bail money to not be returned after the court case is over.

However, in certain situations, if there are outstanding fines or fees that need to be paid, the court may use the bail money to cover those costs. Additionally, if the defendant fails to show up for their court date, the bail may be forfeited and kept by the court. You’ll need to review everything with the court directly.

That being said, if there are no outstanding fees/fines and you showed up to all of your court dates, then you’ll want to contact the court and speak with them as soon as possible. If you continue to have issues, you may need to eventually consult a lawyer.

How is bail money returned?

If charges are dropped or the court process has concluded, the court system will refund bail by mailing a check. This could take over a month, so you’ll need to be patient.

This being said, if you’re concerned with your refund, contact the court system. They should have all the information you need to figure out what’s going on with your bail money.

Need help posting bail? We can help.

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we have decades of experience helping people in Bakersfield and throughout Kern County post bail. If you have more questions about this process, give us a call or send us a message online.

Interested in learning more about bail bonds? Check out our resources below!

What does post my bail mean?

jail cell door black and white

Posting bail is a fundamental part of the criminal justice system, but the phrase can be confusing for those unfamiliar with the process. If you or someone close to you has been arrested, understanding the question, “What does post my bail mean?”, can make all the difference in getting them out of jail quickly and efficiently. Let’s take a closer look at what posting bail entails. 

What is bail?

Bail is an amount of money that serves as collateral between the court and a person accused of a crime. The purpose of bail is to ensure that an individual appears at all scheduled court dates during their trial period. It incentivizes individuals not to flee from their court hearings by allowing them to pay money as collateral in exchange for being released from custody until their trial begins. 

There are different types of bail depending on the severity of the alleged crime. In some cases, especially if an individual has committed a minor offense, they may be eligible for “release on own recognizance” (ROR) — which means they will be free until their trial date without having to post any money as collateral.

Keep Reading: Why is bail so expensive?

What does post my bail mean? 

Posting bail means paying a set amount so that an individual can be released from jail while awaiting their trial date. After posting bail, it’s important for individuals to stay in contact with authorities and appear at all scheduled court dates as ordered by law enforcement. Otherwise, they could risk forfeiting their bond payment and having additional legal consequences added onto them (such as additional fines or even imprisonment). 

How can you post bail?

Fortunately, there are different ways to post bail, depending on your financial ability and support system. You may choose to post bail on your own, but this means paying the full amount upfront. Alternatively, you could enlist the help of family members or close friends to pool resources and make bail more affordable. If these options are not feasible, you can also turn to a bail bondsman, who can provide the necessary funds but will require a non-refundable fee and collateral. Regardless of which option you choose, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each and seek legal advice if needed.

Is bail returned to you after court?

After going through the emotional and financial strain of the court process, many defendants may wonder what happens to the money they paid for bail. The short answer is that in most cases, the bail money is returned to the defendant or whoever posted it for them. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. It’s important to note that bail is not a punishment, but rather a form of security meant to ensure that the defendant returns for their court proceedings. So if all goes well and the court case is resolved, the defendant should receive their bail money back in full.

Keep Reading: What percentage of a bond is bail?

Why would bail not be returned?

After attending court and paying bail, you may assume that the money will be returned to you. Unfortunately, there are a few scenarios where you may not receive your bail back. The first reason is if you do not show up to your court date. When you skip out on your appearance, it is called jumping bail, and the court will keep your money as a form of punishment. Secondly, if you violate any of the terms of your release, the court may keep your bail to penalize you for not honoring the agreement.

Keep Reading: Do you get bail money back if found guilty?

Posting bail is often necessary if someone has been arrested; however, understanding how it works can be daunting due to its complexity and all the different regulations involved depending on which state you reside in or have been arrested in since these vary across states. Ultimately posting bail just means that you are providing security by depositing money with a local court system so that someone who has been arrested can get out from behind bars pending their trial date(s). This security deposit then gets returned once those obligations have been fulfilled according to local laws and regulations applicable in each jurisdiction.

Do you get bail money back if found guilty?

20 dollar bills for bail money

Do you get bail money back if found guilty? This is definitely a frequently asked question around here. 

But whether you’re eventually found guilty or innocent, it’s important to understand what happens to all that bail money. Is bail money returned or not? And what happens if you work with a bail bond agent instead? Do you lose money at that point?

Let’s break down bail and what happens to your money based on how you pay it.

What is bail?

When a person is arrested and taken to jail, the court will often set a bail amount according to a bail schedule. This schedule outlines how much bail should be set for specific crimes. The defendant or their family can pay the bail in cash or with a credit card and the money is held by the court until the case is resolved.

What is a bail bond?

For some people, the amount of bail set by the court is too high to pay in cash. In these cases, they may work with a bail bond company.

A bail bond is a contract between the person posting bail and the surety company that they will appear in court. The person posting bail pays a percentage of the total bail amount, typically 10%, to the bail bond company.

After paying the 10% bail bond fee, the company will then post the full bail amount with the court on behalf of the defendant.

Is bail returned if you pay the court?

Keep Reading: How is bail amount determined by the court?

If you paid bail directly to the court, then you can rest easy knowing that the bail money will be returned in full. However, the case has to be completely over and done with — meaning nothing can be pending. This is good news considered how steep bail is these days — averaging around $50k in California.

That being said, there are a few reasons why bail would not be returned to the payee. The main reasons typically include the following:

  • Failure to Appear in Court: One of the most common reasons why the court may not return the bail money is if the defendant fails to appear for their scheduled hearings. Bail money is essentially collateral that a person posts to ensure they will show up to court. If they don’t show up, they are essentially forfeiting that collateral. The court can use the money to cover expenses incurred while trying to locate and bring the defendant to court. If the defendant still doesn’t show up, the court can keep the money and issue a warrant for their arrest.
    • Violating Bail Conditions: When a person is released on bail, they are often required to comply with certain conditions. These conditions may include staying within a certain geographical area, avoiding contact with certain people, or refraining from drugs and alcohol. Violating these conditions can result in the court revoking the bail and forfeiting the bail money.

      Is bail returned if you work with a bail bond company?

      As mentioned, a bail bond company will post bail on your behalf for a 10% fee. Even though you aren’t paying the full bail amount, you are paying a percentage of this. So the question becomes: Do you get this fee back?

      The answer is no.

      The 10% fee for a bail bond is nonrefundable (even if you are eventually found innocent of all charges). In essence, this is considered a service payment to the bail bond company.

      For offering a service (posting your total bail amount and taking on that risk), they charge you 10% of the bail, and you do not get that money back.

      Keep Reading: How do bail bond companies work?

      Is bail returned if you’re found guilty?

      Whether you’re found innocent or guilty of the charges, bail is returned. But again, the case has to be completely over before this can happen. Bail is simply a preventative measure to make sure defendants return to court for trial. It is not an opportunity for the court system to make extra money. Because of this, bail is returned.

      Keep Reading: Can you bail someone out of jail with no money?

      How to decide how to post bail

      If you’re trying to decide how to pay bail, working with a bail bond company is often the better choice. Since the court process can take a while, most people are hesitant to temporarily empty out their savings account to pay bail (even if it is returned at the end of everything). A bail bond company gives you the opportunity to keep your money and get your loved one out of jail while they await trial. The bail premium is usually worth it in the long run. 

      If you need help posting bail, we can help. At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we have decades of experience helping people post bail in Bakersfield, Taft, Lamont, and throughout Kern County. Give us a call or send us a message to get help today.

      Can a co-signer of a bond go to jail?

      a person handcuffed

      A co-signer of a bond is responsible for ensuring that the terms of a bond are met. If you have been asked to co-sign a bond, it is important to understand what this obligation entails and the potential consequences if the terms are not fulfilled. 

      What is a co-signer of a bail bond, and what do they do?

      A co-signer of a bail bond is a person who agrees to take responsibility for the defendant’s bail if they fail to appear in court.

      The co-signer signs the bail bond agreement with the bonding agent and agrees to act as a guarantor for the defendant’s release. They essentially serve as a safety net for the bonding company. This means they help ensure the bail bond agend doesn’t suffer financial losses if the defendant skips court.

      When agreeing to be a co-signer is the financial responsibility, the co-signer typically needs to provide collateral. This may include a mortgage, a car, or other valuable assets. If the defendant does not show up to court, then these items could potentially be taken by the bail bond company.

      In other words, the co-signer is responsible for paying the full amount of the bail bond if things go awry. This financial liability is why it’s crucial to ensure that the defendant will show up for all court appearances.

      Another factor considered is the creditworthiness of a co-signer.

      Bail bond companies typically require a co-signer to have a good credit score, a steady income source, and a stable employment record. This is because the co-signer is not only vouching for the defendant to the court, but also to the bail bond company.

      Related Content: What’s the fee percentage of a bail bond?

      What should you know before a co-signing a bail bond?

      Before agreeing to be a co-signer for a bail bond, it’s crucial to understand the terms and conditions of the agreement.

      The bail contract will require the co-signer to provide personal and financial details to the bonding company. It’s important that you read and understand the contract before signing. And make sure to ask questions if there is any confusion.

      The co-signer should also be aware of the defendant’s responsibilities. This likely includes showing up for all court appearances, avoiding additional legal trouble, and communicating regularly with the bail bond company.

      Related Content: How does a bail bondsman make money?

      Can a co-signer of a bond go to jail?

      The short answer is no – you cannot go to jail for co-signing a bond.

      However, there may be other consequences if you fail to uphold your obligations as a cosigner.

      Depending on the state and local laws where the bond was issued, you may owe civil damages or interest fees. Additionally, if your credit score was used during the bonding process, there could be repercussions.  

      Related Content: How to get your bail money back

      Understanding your rights and responsibilities 

      It’s important to remember that when taking on cosigning responsibilities for someone else’s bond, you are agreeing to accept all of their financial obligations. If you’re unsure about these obligations or believe they may put your finances at risk, you may want to reconsider co-signing. Or at the very least, postpone co-signing until all questions and concerns are addressed.

      What Percentage of Bond is Bail?

      jail cell door black and white

      When you or someone you know is arrested, the first thing on your mind is usually how to get out of jail as quickly as possible. One option is to pay a bail bond, which is a deposit that ensures the accused will appear in court when required.

      However, in most cases, the amount of bail is too high to pay out of pocket. This is where a bail bond comes into play.

      But what percentage of bond is bail? Let’s break it down.

      What percentage of bond is bail?

      The percentage of bond varies from state to state and even among different counties within a state. In general, however, the percentage is between 10% and 15% of the total bond amount. That being said, it can be higher or lower depending on the judge’s decision and the nature of the charges. For example, if the bail is set at $10,000, the bail bond would cost between $1,000 and $1,500, depending on the percentage in that area.

      In California, specifically, the bail bond fee is 10% of the total bail amount. So, when referencing the bail amount above, the bail bond fee would be $1,000. Keep in mind, this will also likely include collateral and a co-signer.

      Related Content: How does a bail bondsman make money?

      What other fees are included?

      It’s important to note that the bond fee isn’t the only cost associated with a bail bond. There may be additional fees (such as a processing fee) that are not covered by the percentage. And as we mentioned above, collateral may also be involved. This may include items such as homes, cars, and other valuable items.

      It’s essential to read the contract carefully and to ask questions if anything is unclear. You should also be aware that the percentage is non-refundable (even if the charges are dropped or the case is dismissed).

      What affects the cost of bail?

      There are a variety of factors that can impact the cost of bail.

      These factors can include the defendant’s criminal history. If the accused has a history of not showing up for court appearances or has a lengthy criminal record, the judge may require a higher percentage to ensure that the defendant doesn’t skip bail. Alternatively, if the defendant has a clean record, the percentage may be lower since they are deemed less of a flight risk.

      At the same time, the severity of the crime the defendant has been accused of, as well as their current flight risk may also be considered. For example, many crimes involving assault or attempted murder will involve a higher bail. Simultaneously, if the defendant has access to money and resources outside of the average person, their bail may also be higher

      Related Content: Why is bail so expensive and what affects the cost of bail?

      Understanding the percentage of bond is essential when it comes to posting bail for yourself or a loved one. While the percentage varies depending on your location and the circumstances of the case, it generally falls between 10% and 15% of the bond amount. Additionally, there may be additional fees, and the percentage is non-refundable even if the charges are dropped. Regardless, it’s crucial to read the contract carefully and to ask questions if anything is unclear. Ultimately, posting bail can be an expensive and stressful process, but having a basic understanding of the rules and regulations can help ease some of the burden.

      How does a bail bondsman make money?

      bail money and calculator

      When we hear about a bail bondsman, the first thing that comes to mind is the money they make from helping people secure their release from jail.

      However, the bail bonds industry involves many intricacies that can impact how bail bondsmen make their money.

      Let’s break down bail bonds, how they work, and then answer the questions, “How does a bail bondsman make money?”

      What is a bail bond?

      A bail bond is a contract between a bail bondsman, the court, and the defendant. The bail bondman is a licensed and insured agent who provides a guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear for their trial.

      The defendant or their family pays a percentage of the total bail amount to the bail bondsman – typically 10% – and the bondsman pays the full amount of the bail to the court. The bail bondsman is then responsible for ensuring that the defendant appears in court when required.

      If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bondsman has the right to locate and apprehend the defendant to bring them to court. The bondsman may also hire a bounty hunter to locate the defendant if they are difficult to find.

      If the defendant is found and returned to court, the bondsman can then recover the full amount of the bail from the defendant or their family.

      Related Content: How much does a bail bond cost in California?

      How is the total bail amount set?

      The amount of bail can vary widely depending on factors such as the seriousness of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, and other factors. Let’s break down those factors.

      • Severity of the crime: One of the main factors that affect bail amount is the severity of the crime that the defendant is accused of committing. The more serious the crime, the higher the bail amount is likely to be. For example, bail for a minor offense like shoplifting may only be a few hundred dollars, while bail for a serious crime like murder or armed robbery could be in the tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. (Why would someone have a 2 million dollar bail?)
      • Criminal history: Another factor that can affect bail amount is the defendant’s criminal history. If a defendant has a long history of criminal activity, they may be seen as more of a flight risk or a danger to the community, which could result in a higher bail amount being set. On the other hand, a defendant with little to no criminal history may be seen as less of a risk and could be granted a lower bail amount.
      • Flight risk: Another factor in determining bail amount is the likelihood that the defendant will flee. If a judge believes that the defendant is likely to flee the jurisdiction and not return for their trial, they may set a higher bail amount. Factors that can contribute to a person being seen as a flight risk include a lack of ties to the community, a history of missing court dates, or a lack of stable employment or living arrangements.
      • Danger to the community: Finally, judges may also consider the potential danger that a defendant poses to the community when setting bail amount. In cases where the defendant is accused of a particularly violent crime or is believed to be part of a gang, for example, the judge may set a higher bail amount to ensure that the defendant remains in custody until their trial.

      Related Content: Why is bail so expensive?

      How does a bail bondsman make money?

      Bail Bond Fees 

      The most obvious way that bail bonds make money is through charging fees for their services. Depending on the state and local laws, these fees can range — but in California, this fee is 10 percent of the total bail amount set by the court.

      This fee is non-refundable (regardless of whether or not the defendant appears in court). This is important to keep in mind when considering whether or not to use a bondsman. 

      Related Content: Do you get bail money back if charges are dropped?


      Another way that bail bonds make money is by collecting collateral from defendants or their family members who are unable or unwilling to pay their entire bond upfront. Collateral is something of value – often property – that can be seized if a defendant fails to show up for their scheduled court appearance.

      The value of this collateral must be equal to or greater than the amount of bail being set by the court and can include items like vehicles, jewelry, cash, stocks, real estate, etc. If you are unable to provide sufficient collateral for your bond amount, then you may need to seek out other forms of help from friends or family members who can vouch for you financially and provide collateral on your behalf. 

      Bail bonds play an essential role in our criminal justice system by providing accused individuals with access to pre-trial release while also ensuring they appear in court as ordered. Understanding how bail bonds make money is key when deciding if they are right for you or someone you care about—they will charge fees but may also require collateral depending on your situation and risk level associated with your case. It’s important to understand all aspects before making any decisions regarding using a bail bond service so that you don’t get stuck with any unexpected costs down the road.

      What are the risks of co-signing a bail bond?

      jail cell door black and white

      Co-signing a bail bond can be a tempting offer for anyone who has a loved one or friend who has been arrested and needs to be released from jail. At the time, it may seem like a simple and straightforward process to help someone out of jail. However, before you sign that contract, it’s important to understand the risks and the legal implications associated with co-signing a bail bond.

      Let’s break down the risks of co-signing a bail bond and why it might not be the best decision for you or your loved one.

      Financial Responsibility

      Co-signing a bail bond means that you’re vouching for the defendant’s attendance in court. In essence, you’re putting your financial reputation on the line. If the defendant fails to show up in court, then you’re deemed liable for their release bond. You’ll be required to pay the entire amount upfront, and there’s no going back after that.

      Keep Reading: How to get bail money back

      Legal Implications

      In a co-signed bail bond situation, you’re essentially pledging that your loved one or friend will make all required court appearances. Should the defendant skip court appearances, you’ll be at risk of being held accountable by the law. Not only will this negatively affect your financial standing, but you also run the risk of facing court fines or legal action.

      Keep Reading: Why is bail so expensive?

      Strained Relationships

      Co-signing a bail bond for a friend or loved one can change your relationship dynamics and bring in different emotional weight. Imagine if you were to co-sign and pay for the bail bond, and then the defendant skips town, leaving you to suffer the consequences. The mistrust and anger that can happen during such a situation will cause a significant and long-lasting strain on your relationship.

      Keep Reading: Do you get bail money back if charges are dropped?

      Limited Control

      When you sign a bail bond as a co-signer, you essentially have no control over the defendant’s actions or behavior. Even if you have the best intentions of holding them accountable, it’s impossible to control their movements or obligations. With that, you’re taking a massive risk to trust that your loved one will uphold all their legal duties while on bail.

      Potentially Losing Valuable Assets

      When you co-sign a bail bond, you’re agreeing to put up something substantial as collateral in the event that the defendant doesn’t show up for court. This could be anything from property, cars, savings, or other assets. By co-signing, you’re risking the loss of these assets if the defendant runs, does not come to court, or if you cannot cover the costs of the bail bond yourself.

      Co-signing a bail bond is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. By understanding the risks involved, it’s easier to make an informed decision that’s best for you and your loved one’s wellbeing. If someone you care about has been arrested and needs to be released from jail, there are other ways to help, such as hiring a bail bondsman, or simply offering emotional support. As the old adage goes, “better safe than sorry” when it comes to co-signing a bail bond.