How to Get a Bail Bond

A person can make an innocent mistake and get arrested.

If this is their first experience with the criminal justice system; they may not know about bail bonds. It’s important people know what they can expect at a bond hearing as well as what can be done if they can’t afford the bail given by a judge. There are different ways a person can post bail to get out of jail.


The system for providing a bail bond for those who are incarcerated originated out of common law. The ability to provide money or property to assure a person’s temporary release from jail prior to their trial originated in 13th century England. The practice of using bail bonds was continued in the United States and has evolved over time. It is not a common practice in many countries.

Setting Bail Amount

The goal is for bail to be enough to motivate a defendant to come back to court and not be excessively high. Many jurisdictions around the United States use something known as bail schedules. This is a list of bail amounts associated with various types of crime. The list may have bail for a petty crime be $9,000 and serious crime, like involuntary manslaughter, be a minimum of $150,000.


The Constitution of the United States protects people against excessive bail in the Eighth Amendment. This is to protect against a government using bail collection as a way to raise money. Bail is also not to be used as a way to punish a person who has been accused of committing a crime. It needs only to be high enough to force a person to return to court for trial.

Bail Hearing

A person may have their bail set at a bail hearing. A judge will review a state’s bail schedule and use it as a guide for setting bail. A judge will look at various factors involved with the case before setting the final bail amount. This included the seriousness of the offense if the defendant is a threat to anyone, as well as the defendant’s criminal record. The likelihood of a defendant not returning for trial and more will also be considered.

Obtaining A Bail Bond

A person could ask friends and family members to provide the cash to pay the bail. A friend or family member can provide their home or other real property to pay the bail. It is also possible for a person to contact a bail bond agent. They will pay the bond for a fee. This fee is usually a percentage of the bail amount.


It is possible for a bail agent to accept collateral as part of their bail bond fee. Each bail agency will have its own policy on what they will accept as collateral. Most accept such things as real estate, credit cards, bank accounts, cars, jewelry, investment bonds, and more.

Information Needed By A Bail Bond Agent

There is certain information a bail agent will need before they can begin the process of paying the requested bail amount. A person will need to tell the bail agent exactly where they are being held in custody. The person being incarcerated will need to provide their full name and booking number. This information is necessary for the bail agent, so they can contact the jail. A bail agent will also need to know the amount of a person’s bail and more.

When a person is arrested, it is important they post bail. This makes it possible for them to be out of jail and able to work with their attorney on a legal defense.