Q: What is a bail bondsman?

A: Individuals who are licensed and approved by the state to post bail bonds.

Q: What is a bail bond?

A: An appearance bond for a specified monetary amount which is executed by the defendant and a licensed bail bondsman, and which is issued to a court clerk as security for the subsequent court appearances of the defendant.

Q: How long is the bond good for?

A: Typically, one year. If the case exceeds that timeframe, the premium/bail fees must be paid again to keep the
bond current.

Q: Do I get bail money back?

A: Generally speaking, when you use a bail bondsman, you do not get the bail money back. The money and fees charged by the bondsman are typically non-refundable.

Q: If I'm a cosigner, what will I have to do?

A: If the defendant misses any court appearance, you may be expected to assist the bail bond agent in finding the defendant, pay the bond agent's expenses of locating the defendant, and/or pay the full amount of the bond.

Q: Can a bondsman return a defendant to jail even if they have paid the bondsman's fees in full?

A: Yes, a bail bondsman has criteria and expectations, and can return a defendant to jail for many different reasons. Refer to your contracts and paperwork for more detailed information, as each individual bail bondsman's requirements/contracts may vary.

Q: What if I cosigned a bond then changed my mind or want off the bond?

A: Cosigning a bond is like signing any other contract. You can't just change your mind after the fact (i.e. you can't buy a house or car then just change your mind). Be certain that you feel comfortable cosigning the bond before you do so. In certain instances, a bail bondsman may let you off the bond and/or let the defendant locate another
viable cosigner.

However, the bondsman does not have to do so and will likely charge additional fees for any additional time spent after the initial posting of the bail bond. A bail bondsman will likely treat each circumstance on a case-to-case basis. It is a bad idea to use your status as a cosigner to control a defendant. Don't sign for them if you have doubts or don't trust them. If new information arises that the defendant is planning to run/hide or has otherwise violated the terms of the bail bond, contact the bondsman immediately.