How do bail bonds work?
What are the release options if someone is arrested?
There are three basic release options available. The three options are:
For this service, the defendant is charged a premium (typically 10% of the bail amount in Washington). For example, if the bail amount is $10,000.00, the premium charged is $1,000.00. Prior to the posting of the surety bond, the defendant, friend or relative must contact a licensed bail agent. You can contact us toll-free at 800-622-9991. Once a bail agent is contacted, an interview or appointment will be scheduled immediately.
By involving the family and friends of a defendant, as well as through the acceptance of collateral, the bail agent can be reasonably assured that the defendant released on a surety bond will appear at all of his/her court appearances.
After this procedure is completed, the bail agent will post a bond for the full bail amount, financially guaranteeing the defendant’s return to court as scheduled.
With money on the line, the bail agent has a financial interest in supervising bailees and ensuring that they appear in court each and every time the court orders them to appear. If the defendant does not appear in court (skips), the bail agent has time and the financial incentive to find the defendant and bring him/her to court.
Cash bail means a person must give the court or jail the total amount of the bail in cash. The cash will be held by the court until the defendant appears at all of his/her court cases and the case is concluded. Full cash bonds provide a powerful incentive for the defendant to appear in court. If the defendant appears for all of his/her scheduled court appearances, the cash bail should be returned in full.
Another method of release pending trial is through a pre-trial release program administered by the county or a law enforcement agency. Usually, the employees of these programs interview defendants in custody and make recommendations to the court regarding the release of individuals on their personal recognizance (i.e., without any financial security to ensure the defendant’s return).
The interview process is often conducted over the telephone, usually with little inquiry into the defendant’s background. The interview process attempts to determine whether the detainee is likely to appear in court. There is usually no verification of information provided by the defendant. Since no money, property, or bond is posted to secure the defendant’s appearance in court, he/she faces no personal economic hardship from the conscious decision not to appear in court.