The process of posting a bail bond involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by a bail agent and the individual posting bail. In such case, the bail agent provides a guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear in court each and every time the judge requires it. Hence a bail bond is an obligation signed by those who have been accused of a crime to secure their presence at the court when summoned.
The bail agent charges a percentage of the bail amount from the defendant for this service. So, one advantage of the bail bond is that this obligation ensures that the accused will lose money if he or she does not appear for the trial. The defendant or someone related to the defendant contacts the bail agent to arrange to post bail, resulting in the release of the defendant. Usually, a relative or a close friend of the defendant will post bail and co-sign. However, the co-signer or the person contacting the agent for the bail bond must guarantee to pay the full amount of bail if the defendant does not appear in court, before the bail bond can be posted.
Sometimes the bail agent does not require collateral to post the bail. A person can be bailed out from jail with a signature of a friend or a relative. However, co-signers typically must be employed and must either own or rent a home in the same area for some time. After the agreement is signed, the bail agent posts a bond for the amount of the bail, to guarantee the defendant’s return to court.
The co-signer holds a lot of responsibility when entering an agreement with the bail agent, in that if the defendant fails to appear, the cosigner is immediately responsible for the full amount of the bail. Also, if the bail agent searches for and then finds the defendant, the cosigner is again responsible for all expenses the bail agent has incurred in the process.
In some states, the court allows the release of defendants after they pay ten percent of the bail bond amount directly to the local jail or court. But this is only in certain cases wherein the defendant cannot raise the entire bail amount at one time. However, in other states, defendants can arrange for the whole bail amount through a bail bondsman.
But in this case the defendant or the co-signer needs to sign over a collateral. The process is then similar to that of the other bail agents. The collateral is returned to the defendant after the court summons are finished and the case is closed. This indicates that the bail bond is discharged.