How Do Bail Bonds Work?

What happens if you’re arrested in Texas? Are you stuck in jail? What should you do if someone you know ends up in a DFW jail? In either case, posting bail can get you (or your loved one) out of jail quickly. But there are several things you must know to go through the process properly. Curious how to go about using a bail bond, either for yourself or a loved one? Below, we’ll discuss how bail bonds work.

What Is Bail?

Though the terms “bail” and “bond” are related to one another and are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. When a defendant is charged with a legal offense and is taken into police custody, that person may have the option of getting out of jail prior to their court date by posting bail. 

After the presiding judge determines the severity of the defendant’s alleged crime, he or she will then issue a corresponding fee known as bail. If paid, that fee will release the individual from incarceration until the case goes to court. Bail is simply the monetary fee that must be paid in order to release the defendant from jail. 

The court then holds that fee as a guarantee that the defendant will appear in court when he or she is ordered to do so. If the defendant fails to appear in court upon request, the court has the right to retain the bail and issue an arrest warrant for the defendant. 

What Exactly Is a Bail Bond?

A bail bond is a form of payment issued by a bail bondsman on behalf of the defendant in question. If the defendant — or a representative of the defendant — cannot afford to pay the full bail amount in cash, a bail bondsman can issue a bond to release the defendant from jail. The two most common types of bail bonds issued by bondsmen are surety bonds and property bonds.

  • Surety bond: This type of bond is often secured by an insurance company that the bond agent works with to secure financial backing for their bonds.
  • Property bond: If you own property of significant value, the bond agent may be able to use your property as collateral rather than using cash. If you opt for a property bond, the court places a lien on your property and may sell it to pay the full amount of bail if the defendant fails to appear in court. 

To issue a bail bond, the bondsman charges the defendant a percentage of the full bail amount, typically 10% to 20%. After the defendant pays the fee and agrees to all provisions set forth in the bond agent’s contract, the bondsman then supplies a surety bond to the court. This bond acts as a pledge that the defendant will appear in court upon request. 

By issuing a bail bond, the bond agent guarantees the court that he or she (the bond agent) will furnish the full amount of bail should the defendant fail to appear in court. The bond seller’s fee is nonrefundable and may require additional collateral to ensure that the defendant will appear in court as directed.

What Happens After Posting a Bail Bond?

After the defendant’s bail bond agent posts bond, the court processes the payment and releases the defendant from jail. Upon release, the defendant must comply with all court-ordered bail conditions. 

If the defendant violates any of the conditions of bail, law enforcement may be allowed to take the defendant back into custody until the scheduled court date. Violation may also result in forfeiture of any bail amount paid to the court.

What Happens to a Bail Bond After the Court Date?

If the defendant appears at all required court dates, the bond agent will return any collateral provided by the defendant or the defendant’s representative. However, the agent will retain the initial 10% to 20% charge as payment for services rendered.

What Happens If the Defendant Forfeits a Bail Bond?

In Dallas, if a bond agent supplied a bail bond to the court and the defendant fails to make the required appearance(s), this situation is known as bond forfeiture. Should this situation occur, the bond agent may attempt to locate the defendant and take that person into police custody. 

As stipulated in the bond agent’s contract, a bail enforcement agent has the right to track down the defendant and perform the necessary actions to apprehend that individual. By forfeiting bail,  the defendant will be responsible, in most cases, for the full amount of the bail set by the judge. The bond agent may cash in any collateral provided during the bond agreement to acquire the necessary funds to pay the full amount of the defendant’s bail.

Looking for a Licensed Bail Bond Agent? 

At A Way Out Bail Bonds, we’ve been serving the DFW metro for nearly three decades, and we’re here to serve you too. We specialize in rapid release from all jails and for your convenience, we can perform bonds by fax or email. Our team of licensed bond agents is available 24/7, so no matter when you need us, we’re here for you. For fast, professional bail bond assistance in Dallas, Texas, contact our team online. Or you can give our team a call at (214) 760-9978 in Dallas County and (817) 261-2828 in Tarrant County.

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