When someone is arrested, a judge sets an amount to be paid by the defendant, called bail. The monetary value of bail depends on the 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 initially pays the bail, it will be returned after the defendant’s court requirements.

There are four common ways a defendant can dodge immediate incarceration:
  • By posting the total amount of the bond with the court or jail.
  • Use a local bail bonds service.
  • Use real estate as insurance with the court.
  • A judge decides to forego bail money for a defendant at his own discretion.
Many people don’t have enough money to pay for the bail if a friend or family member is arrested. It can be daunting to get someone out of jail, not to mention expensive. This is where a bail bondsman comes into 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 the bail agent is assuring the court on behalf of the defendant they will show up to face the judge. 

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

Additional cash payments and total collateral are often 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 bondsmen or bail agents charge 10-13% of the total bail amount. This amount is non-refundable and charged as a service fee. Some agencies offer immediate bail bonds in Long Beach with an 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 imposes 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 the defendant fails to appear in court

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

If the defendant does appear in court

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


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

The bondsman only needs $1,000 to post bail on behalf of A.
  • The rest of the $9,000 the bondsman will collect in 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 on all necessary dates, the bail bondsman does not need to pay the rest of the bail bond. After 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. 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 entire 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. The type of risks involved could be financial, family circumstances, and the case itself before issuing the bail bond. Those who underwrite bail bonds would evaluate the risk before posting the bail bond.

What to do if you need a bail bondsman

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

The best thing is to look for established agencies and surety companies. They have reliable bail agents or bail bondsmen. Before drawing a contract, evaluate the actual 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.