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How does Bail work?

How does Bail work?

  • November 20, 2017

If you are arrested for a crime, the authorities will not release you from custody unless they are confident that you will show up in court for the hearings and trial.

Defendants who are not released on their own typically pay some amount in bail. Bail is an amount of money that is deposited with the court to ensure that you show up for all court proceedings. Once bail is posted,  you will then be released from custody. However, if you do not show up in court, you will lose the money to the court. Oftentimes, the more serious the case, the higher the amount of bail is.

If the defendant does not have enough cash to post the entire bail, the court will accept a bail bond. A bail bond is similar to insurance. For example, if the court requires $20,000 in bail, the insurance company could charge a 10 percent premium, or $2,000, to post the bond. The company will also require a guarantor to sign for the bond as well. This person will guarantee to pay the insurance company if the accused does not show up.

If the accused appears at trial, the court returns the insurance company’s bond, and the insurance company keeps the money for posting the bond ($2,000 in this instance).  However, if the accused flees, the insurance company loses the $20,000 it posted with the court and will require the guarantor to reimburse them for it.