What Are Your Options for Posting Bail?

If you are arrested, the police office and the court can decide to release you on a citation, release you on your own recognizances, or hold you in jail pending the payment of a bail bond in Virginia . A bail bond, or surety bond, is a payment to the court that assures the court that you will appear at your next court date. If you do not appear, the court keeps the bail bond amount. Here is a look at your options for posting a bail bond or surety bond after being arrested.


Posting a Cash Bail

Posting bail with cash is the most difficult way to pay bail. You must have enough cash on hand to pay the full amount of your bail, without a discount. Some courts accept checks or credit cards as well, but most defendants simply do not have that amount of money at the ready, and will use a bail bondsman agent or bail bonds service instead.

Using a Bail Bondsman or Bail Bond Company

The best method of posting bail is to work with a bail bondsman or bail bond company. A bondsman is backed by a surety insurance company, and will post a bail bond to the court on your behalf. In return, you will have to pay a certain percentage of your bail amount to the bonding company. If you show up at your next court date, the bail agent receives the full amount of bail back from the court, keeping your percentage. This is ideal for a defendant who cannot afford to pay the full bail amount. A friend or family member will need to act as an indemnitor, or guarantor, for fees incurred by the bail bondsman if you don’t appear in court.

Putting Up Property as a Bail Bond

You also may have the option of using property you own to pay your bail. This means that the court will obtain a lien against your personal property, and will foreclose upon it if you don’t show up for your court hearing.