After a person has been arrested and booked, bail will be set. Since the law considers all persons “innocent until proven guilty,” those accused of crimes can be released from jail until their trial date, provided they can make bail. If the amount is set very high, bail agents in Maryland can provide you with bail bonds to help secure a loved one’s release. Bail bonds are only one of several different types of bail, which include:
Legally, you always have the option to pay the full amount of bail in cash. If the crime that your loved one stands accused of committing is relatively minor, you may be able to afford to post bail in cash. However, this does not happen very often in practice—if the offense is minor and your loved one has no criminal history, he or she may simply be released “on personal recognizance,” which mean release without bail.
Most jurisdictions will accept property, such as the deed to a house or apartment, as a bond. However, posting property as bond for yourself or your loved one is a very risky course of action. Should the defendant violate the terms of bail in any way, the court can foreclose on the property to recover the bail money, causing financial ruin for you and your family.
If it is beyond your means to pay the set bail in cash, as is often the case, your safest course of action is to contact a bail bond agent with an established bail bond company. For a small fee (around 10% of the total value of the bond) a bond agent can post bail to release your loved one from jail. A bondsman has a relationship with a special type of surety insurance company, which allows him or her to post surety bonds. The surety bond is essentially a promise: If the defendant does not attend his or her assigned court date, the bondsman will pay the full amount of bail.