Bail System FAQs

Bail is the means of procuring the release from custody of a person charged with a criminal offense.
An arraignment is when the accused is brought before the court and charges are read. The defendant pleads guilty or not guilty, and the judge then decides the amount of bail to be set according to a Bail Schedule. In some cases, such as capital felonies, bail may not be granted.
The full amount of bail set (not just a percentage) must be paid in cash only. The guarantor may be refunded the full amount at disposition of the case. Note if the defendant fails to appear the entire amount will be forfeited.
A surety bond is the most common bail bond. A professional bail bondsman guarantees the appearance of the defendant through an insurance agency (surety). The bail bondsman is paid a fee for his service and may require collateral (property) from the person posting bail.
An immigration bond is a Federal bond set for alien detainees pending INS or Homeland Security hearings.
The judge sets the amount of bail according to a Bail Schedule. The judge may raise or lower the amount of bail depending on several factors; including seriousness of the charges, criminal history, risk of flight, and ties to the community.
The court may issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest, resulting in a separate charge, “failure to appear.” The judge may order the bail forfeited. However, the order may be set aside in extenuating circumstances such as death, major illness, or detention by law enforcement.
A bounty hunter is a private recovery agent contracted by the bond agency to apprehend a bail fugitive. In many states this practice is no longer legal.
The fee paid to the bonding agency is nonrefundable. At the dismissal of charges the bond becomes void and collateral pledged will be returned.
The paperwork takes approximately 15-30 minutes. The release time after the jail receives our paperwork is generally 1-3 hours or less for local police stations and 3-8 hours for county jails. Generally speaking, the busier the holding facility, the longer it takes.
The indemnitor (co-signer) is financially liable for the bail bond. The indemnitor’s liability is limited to the full face value of the bail bond.
We can verify outstanding warrants and post most bail without the need to be booked into county jail.