How do bail bond companies work?

If you want to know, “How do bail bond companies work?”, then you might be facing some sort of legal trouble. If this is the case, don’t worry. Working with a bail bond company is typically a very smooth process. In fact, a bail bondsman can even quicken the process and help you avoid potential issues along the way.

Let’s take a few moments to discuss how a bail bond company works and provide you with additional resources to keep learning.

What is bail? 

Bail is set by the court. It is a dollar amount that the defendant pays. Once the bail is paid, then the defendant can await his or her court date from home — rather than waiting in a jail cell. Bail is typically pretty expensive, especially in California (the average amount is around $50,000), and many individuals awaiting trial cannot afford to post bail on their own (which is why they seek out a bail bond company). 

However, bail is not always a guaranteed thing. In some cases, bail can be denied based on factors such as flight risk, seriousness of the alleged crime committed, and degree of danger to the community.

Additional Resources:

How do you post bail with a bail bondsman?

If you cannot afford to post bail on your own, then you can either remain in jail as you await your court date or you can seek out a bail bond company. When you approach a bail bond company, they will need to gather personal information, work history, references, and collateral. If approved, the bail bond company will go to the court and pay the full bail amount on your behalf. Then you or your loved one should be released from jail.

Additional Resources

How does a bail bond company make money? 

When you turn to a bail bond company to help you post bail, you will be required to pay a fee (usually around 10%). While the bond itself is refundable, this fee is not (even if you are eventually found innocent of the crime). After you attend your court date, the bail amount will be refunded to the bail bond company, and the bail bond company will pocket your bail bond fee. This is how bail bond companies make money and are able to offer this service.

Additional Resources

Can a bail bond company arrest you? 

Bail bondsmen are not considered law enforcement to any degree. They simply offer a bail service to the community. However, if you don’t make your court date that means the bail bond company will not get your bail amount refunded. This means they have an incentive to get you back to court. In this type of situation, the bail bond company would hire a bounty hunter. These people are also not police officers, but they do have the authority to legally detain you and take you back to court. 

Additional Resources

What happens if you don’t make your court date?

If you don’t make your court date, then you will have a failure to appear on your record and a warrant will be issued for your arrest. As we mentioned earlier, this will be the point at which the bail bond company will likely reach out to a bounty hunter. If you did happen to post bail on your own, then a failure to appear in court means you forfeit the entire bail amount, and it will not be returned to you.

Additional Resources

Need help posting bail? Contact Cowboy Bail Bonds.

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we have decades of experience providing bail bonds in Bakersfield, Taft, Wasco, and throughout Kern County, and we’d love to talk to you. Fill out our online form or give us a call today.

Not in Kern County? Here’s how to find a bail bond company near me.