When someone is arrested, a judge sets an amount to be paid by the defendant which is called bail. The monetary value of bail depends on many factors such as defendant’s criminal record, the nature of crime or crimes, the vicinity where the defendant lives, etc.

The bail is set to ensure that the accused person will show up in court to defend himself before the judge. Bail works as some sort of safety deposit or insurance. If an accused person pays the bail in full initially, it will be returned at the conclusion of defendant’s court requirements.

There are four common ways a defendant can dodge immediate incarceration:
  • By posting full amount of the bond with the court or jail.
  • Use a local bail bonds service.
  • Use real estate as an insurance with the court.
  • A judge decides to forego bail money for a defendant at his own discretion.
It can a daunting work to get someone out of jail, not to mention expensive. A lot of people don’t have enough money to pay for the bail if a friend or family member is arrested. This is where bail bondsman comes in the picture.

Bail Bondsman

A bail bondsman or a bail agent will pay the money on behalf of the defendant, to keep them from going to jail. Bail bonds are essentially surety bonds which means bail agent is assuring the court on behalf of the defendant they will show up to face the judge. 

To post a bail bond, a bail bondsman is generally asked to put in 10% of the bond money to the court. After that, a bail bondsman will collect the rest of the bond money in the form of collateral. Collateral is the security collected by bail bondsman against the rest of the bond money. It can be precious items belonging to the accused such as jewelry, estate, shares, etc.

Many times, additional cash payment along with full collateral is to be posted to secure bail. There are agencies in Long Beach that offer 24/7 bail bonds to the accused against substantial collateral.

Bail Bondsman Fee

Usually, bail bondsman or bail agents charge 10-13% of the total amount of bail. This amount is non-refundable and charged as a service fee. There are agencies that offer immediate bail bonds Long Beach with extra charge.

Criminal bail bonds:

Bail bond companies in Long Beach offer bail bonds to defendants in criminal cases. They guarantee that the accused will appear in court for trial whenever summoned by the judge, and to pay penalties or fines that the court impose on him.

Civil Bail Bonds:

These types of bonds are used in civil cases. They guarantee that the debts are paid off, along with interest and costs, levied on the defendant.

If defendant fails to appear in court

If for some reason a defendant fails to show up in court, the bail bond is forfeited and the court demands the rest of the 90% sum of the bail bond. The bail bondsman pay that sum on behalf of the defendant by using the collateral.

If defendant does appear in court

When all the court proceedings are done, the bail bond is dissolved and the defendant only has to pay only 10% of the bail bond to the bail bondsman as a fee.


Suppose A is arrested and the court sets the bail for A at $10,000. A does not want to be spend time in jail and he does not have $10,000 in cash. So, he will ask help from a bail bondsman.

The bondsman only needs $1,000 to post a bail on behalf of A.
  • The rest of the $9,000 the bondsman will collect in the form of collateral from A and his family. Collateral can be a tangible or intangible asset with enough market value to match the rest of the sum.
  • If A keeps appearing in the court before the judge at all necessary dates, the bail bondsman does not need to pay the rest of the bail bond. At the conclusion of A’s case, the bail bondsman would return the collateral to A, but not the original $1,000. He will keep that amount as profit or service fee.
On the contrary, if A does not appear in court at all, the bondsman is bound by law to pay the court the rest of the sum. Now, he’d use collateral to deposit the sum.

How to find a bail bondsman?

Many agencies and surety companies do not write bail bonds. It is because they are the most dangerous bonds to write and come with many legal underwriting problems.

If the accused fails to appear in court, the surety bond company (all bail bondsman are related to a firm to some extent) who wrote the bond would have to pay the full sum to the court. Due to the nature of surety bonds, the company or the bail bondsman will demand compensation from the defendant to cover his fee or profits.

It is of vital importance to understand the risks involved in bail bonds. Those who underwrite bail bonds would evaluate the risk before posting the bail bond. The type of risks involved could be financial, family circumstance, and the case itself before the issuance of the bail bond.

What to do if you need a bail bondsman

It’s not people’s everyday routine to seek bail bondsman. People seek them when they are in a lot of trouble and want a secure and legal pay to pay for their bail.

The best thing is to look for established agencies and surety companies. They have reliable bail agents or bail bondsman. Before drawing a contract, evaluate the real value of your collateral. Make sure to go through terms and conditions as much as needed. It is better to discuss all the legal implications before, to avoid financial and legal ramifications in the future.