How a Bail Bond Works


After an arrest, you are stuck in jail until you can either get out on bail or the prosecutor drops the charges against you. Getting out on bail requires a judge to set the amount for you.

Typically, the amount of bail is high enough that you will be unable to pay it in full on your own. In this type of situation, you may wish to secure a bail bond.

Bail Bond Defined

A bail bond is something you secure through a bail bonds agent. The agent will pay your bail for you, but it comes with conditions you must follow in addition to the conditions the court imposes on you.

The Process

Once a judge sets your bail amount, you will need to contact an agent handling bail bonds Harrisburg PA. AboutBail explains you will need to provide the agent with some information about you and your situation:

  • Your name
  • Your booking number and location
  • The amount of bail

Once the agent verifies the information, he or she will give you an idea of the cost of the bond. The bond’s cost will cover the money the court wants to let you out of jail.

The Conditions

According to Money Crashers, to secure bail, the court will require you to obey certain conditions. These might include not contacting the victim in the case, refraining from the use of alcohol or drugs, not having any additional interactions with law enforcement, and showing up at your next court date. The last item is the most important because your bond is your way of guaranteeing the court you will show up. If you show up in court, then you get that money back.

Your bail bonds agent may also impose conditions on your in addition to the ones set by the court. When you agree to the contract for the agent providing you bail, you also agree to any conditions, so be sure you understand this contract.

The Money

Because the agent is putting up money to get you out of jail. You can expect that you will have to put something up to secure this service. The agent may ask you to provide collateral and they will often charge an additional fee. You will not get anything back when your case is over because the money the agent pays to the court comes back to him or her. You will, however, have the lien the agent put on your collateral lifted.

You’re Free

Once the agent pays your bond, you get out of jail. It is essential that you make sure you go to court at your next set court date. At that time, your relationship with the agent will usually end unless the court extends your bail for some reason.

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