How Jail Bonds Work

Most people are unfamiliar with how jail bonds work, most commonly known as a bail bond or bail bonds. These form of bonds secure a person’s release from custody (jail). In addition, the bond guarantees the person’s appearance in court for the alleged crime they are being accused of. In most cases, once a person has been arrested and booked at the local police station or county jail, they will have the opportunity to post bail. The bail amount will be determined by the county’s bail schedule, which corresponds with the alleged violation of law. Thereafter, a friend or family member will make arrangements to post bail and have their friend or loved one released. There are several bail options to consider and will be discussed later on.

The Jail Bonds Process

You have decided to contact a bail bond company to assist you in the release of your friend or loved. This was due to the bail amount being too high or other reasons explained below in the “Cash Bail vs. Jail Bonds” section of this article. The bail bond company has agreed to help you, but in return, you have qualified for the jail bonds by an application process which consists of an application, bail bond agreement, and payment of premium for the bail bonds service, usually 10% of the total bond amount.

You are guaranteeing the total amount of bail posted and the arrestee’s (defendant’s) appearance in court. Thus, you may be required to secure the bail bond with collateral, like a home or other assets. Of course, this all depends on the arrestee’s criminal history, seriousness of charges, and bail amount. You will enter into a bail bond agreement, agreeing to pay the total amount of bail to the bail bond company if the jail bond is forfeited by the court. Forfeited means, the defendant failed to appear in court as required by the law. Remember, the jail bond (bail bond) is a promise to appear, also known as an appearance bond. To resolve a forfeiture, one of several things must occur. The defendant needs to go back to court voluntarily or involuntarily within a prescribed time frame. For example, in California, the defendant has 186 days to appear in court after the forfeiture of the bond. Failure to do so will require immediate payment of the total bail amount by the co-signer.  This money will go to the county where the defendant’s case was filed and is lost! This does not excuse the defendant from the responsibility of the case, and warrant will be issued for their arrest.

Cash Bail vs. Jail Bonds

Now its time to decide what available bail options you have in getting your friend or loved one out of jail. This is relatively the same throughout the country and we will focus on the most popular forms of posting bail, cash bail and jail bonds (bail bonds). Below are the pro’s and con’s of both:


Pro’s – avoid bail premium to bail bond company, no third party involvement

Con’s – Limited amount (usually 5K-7.5K), no combining forms of payment, must meet police department policy, no payment for out of county or state warrant, ID required, local bank required, no business checks, person checks only


Pro’s – 24 hour service, no limit on amount, approved with police , and detention facilities, reliable, and fast

Con’s – Pay premium for bail service, application process, enter into contract, responsible for bail amount.

As you can see, there are more limitations to cash bail versus jail bonds. Some other circumstances that may arise could also limit your options for bail. The time of day, weekends & holidays, and access to large amounts of money can all play a role on how quickly you may have your friend or loved one released. Regardless of the circumstances, obtaining a bond is the most convenient and expedient way in releasing someone from jail. The bail bond company is familiar with the policies and requirements of your local police department and county jail. This allows a quick and easy way in having the arrestee released. Please call us for FREE bail information regarding the bail bond process or the immediate release of a friend or loved one from jail. We are available to assist 24 hours a day at 714-872-9198