Bail acts as a monetary reassurance that a defendant will appear for his court dates without requiring him to spend the intervening time in jail. There are several ways in which bail can be fulfilled, including cash payment of the bail and the purchase of a surety bond from a bail bonding company in Virginia or Maryland . Surety bonds are the most common method for posting bail when the total bail amount is less than $100,000. When you purchase a surety bond, your bondsman agrees to pay the full amount of the bond if the defendant fails to appear in court. In return, you pay your bail bond agent a percentage of the total bail amount, which is not refundable. Surety bonds are a more appealing way to pay bail than cash for many reasons. Purchasing a surety bond is a more discreet and professional way to post bail than simply handing over a large sum of cash. Furthermore, a bonding company can accept multiple forms of payment, including checks, credit cards, and money orders. Your bondsman will not only help you understand the bond process, he will also act quickly to minimize the time your loved one spends in jail.