Bail Bond FAQs

What is bail?

Bail allows an accused person to be temporarily released from custody. In criminal cases, bail is a sum of money, real property or surety bond that needs to be posted by or on behalf of a defendant to guarantee their appearance in court.

What is a bail bond and how does a bail bond work?

A bail bond guarantees payment of the full bail amount to the court if the defendant does not show up. These bonds are offered by licensed bail bond agencies. For supplying these bonds, bail agencies charge a premium. If the defendant fails to appear in court, they must forfeit their bond.

What is the difference between bond amount and bond premium?

The bond amount is the full amount of the bail that was set by the court. The premium is the dollar amount owed to the bail bond agency for posting the bond. Usually this premium is 10% of the bond amount. For example, if the bond amount is $50,000, the premium owed would be $5,000. 

Who is an indemnitor/guarantor?

An indemnitor/guarantor is the person willing to be responsible for the defendant while they are out on bail and co-assumes financial liability to guarantee the full bond amount.

What is a bail bond exoneration?

A bail bond is exonerated when the legal process/trial has finished. It does not matter whether the defendant is found guilty or innocent or the case has been dismissed. At this point, the liability for the bond amount is discharged. However, any unpaid premium, fees or charges incurred by the bail bond agency on your behalf are still owed to that agency.

When does a bail bond forfeiture take place?

Bail bond forfeiture results when the defendant misses a court appearance. If a defendant misses a court date, a bench warrant is issued for their arrest. The court will then set a deadline for when the defendant must be returned to custody. At this time, the bail bond may be reinstated. If the defendant does not return to custody, the bail amount must be paid to the court.

What is a bail bond reinstatement?

A defendant who has experienced a bail bond forfeiture can have their bench warrant removed and the bail bond reinstated with the court. This is a legal proceeding that usually requires action by an attorney and could result in fees being paid by the bail bond agency. These fees are then passed along to the defendant/indemnitors.