A bail bond is a surety bond that a third-party company puts up to cover the bail of someone who is on trial for a crime. A bail bond company pays for the bonding out of jail of the person, but charges a premium for this service. When the court case is complete, and whether the person is found guilty or not, the bail bond amount, including the premium charge, is due to the bail bond company. Legally, the only way to get a bail bond dismissed is to pay the bail bond company.
- Identify the name and address of the bail bond company. You will need this information to check in with the bail bondsman, according to the agreement, and to pay the bond in full when the case is over. For example, if a bail bondsman puts up your bail amount, the bondsman can require that you call or come into the office on a weekly basis until your court case.
- Verify the bail amount and the premium due to the bail bond company. You need this information up front to determine how you are going to repay the bond. When your court case is over, you also need to know this so you can repay the bail bond company.
- Pay the bail bond company. The bond agreement with the bail bond company spells out what type of payment the bail bondsman accepts—cash, money order or cashier’s check. Make sure you have one of the forms of payment the company accepts when your court case is over.
- Obtain a receipt. When you pay off the bail bond company, obtain a receipt that shows your name, date and total payment amount made. If the bail bond company allows you to make a series of payments to pay off your obligation, obtain a receipt for each payment. Make sure each receipt lists your name, amount and date paid and remaining balance.
Tips & Warnings
- If you do not have the bail amount in cash, the bail bond company can require someone to co-sign for your bail or to put up an asset such as a home as collateral for the bond. If you do not show up in court or do not repay the bail amount, the bail company can seek out the co-signer to obtain repayment. A final receipt or one showing the bond is paid off dismisses the bond.