What to Expect from the Bail Bond Process

Many people are unfamiliar with the bail bond process until they have to face it to help a loved one who has been incarcerated. If you have a friend or family member you wish to bail out of jail, here is a look at what you can expect when you contact a bonding company in Maryland or Virginia .


Court Sets the Bail Amount

After being arrested, your friend or family member will be assigned a bail amount by a magistrate or judge. This amount depends on many different factors, including the charge and your loved one’s past criminal history. Typically, the amount is more than a person can pay to the court without help, which is why bail bonds are used to allow the accused to return home from jail and assist in preparing his or her defense.

Indemnitor Contacts the Bail Bond Company

The indemnitor is the person who contacts the bail bond company on behalf of the person who is incarcerated and makes the deal for the bail bond. If you contact a bail agent, he or she will draw up an agreement in which the company will post the bail bond with the court so that your loved one can be released in exchange for being paid a percentage of the bail amount as a premium for their services. When you sign this agreement, you become solely responsible for the bail bond. That means that if the person for whom you arrange bail doesn’t show up for court and the bail is revoked, you are responsible for repaying the entire bail amount plus the premium, usually with interest. In some cases, an indemnitor may need to use property as collateral to secure the bond.

Bail Bond Company Posts the Bail

When an agreement is in place, the bail agent will post the bail bond with the court so that the incarcerated person can be released. As long as the accused attends all of his or her court hearings, the indemnitor will only have to pay the premium. If the accused violates the bail agreement, the indemnitor will be held financially responsible and could lose any property used as collateral.