How To Pay Bail
After a person has been arrested, they may have a bail hearing in which the court sets a bail amount. The defendant can pay this fee in exchange for their freedom until their next hearing. The money serves as a promise to the court that the defendant will willingly return for all necessary hearings and pay any required fees. If the defendant does this, the payment will be returned. If the bail is not paid, the defendant will be detained until their hearing. There are several ways for defendants or their loved ones to pay bail.
If the defendant or a loved one has the means to do so, they can pay the full amount of bail in cash. Some courts offer financing options in which a percentage of the bail can be paid up front and the remaining amount is collected if the defendant does not uphold their end of the bargain. The payment will be returned as long as the defendant attends hearings and pays fees as expected.
Another option is to agree to a deal with a local bail bondsman. The defendant pays the bondsman a percentage of the bail amount in exchange for their services. The bond agent then promises to pay the court the full bail amount if their client does not attend hearings or pay fees. The bond agent may require some collateral from the defendant to guarantee cooperation with the court. The collateral is returned if the agreement is upheld by the defendant.
Some courts accept collateral in lieu of cash. Examples of collateral include deeds to property, expensive jewelry, vehicles or other valuable possessions. Like cash, the collateral is returned given cooperation with the court.
After a bail amount has been set for a defendant, they can pay cash, agree to a bail bond or give the court collateral in order to guarantee cooperation and be granted freedom until the date of their next hearing.