How does bail bonding work?
Bail is provided to the courts as a guarantee that a defendant will return to their scheduled court appearances.
A judge usually determines the defendant's eligibility for release from custody and the bail amount. If the
defendant cannot pay the amount of the bond set by the judge, a bail bondsman maybe used to guarantee the
defendant's release. A bail bondsman will post the bail for a fee, typically 12% of the bail amount. The
defendant, friend and family members agree to pay the bail agent the full amount of the bail if the defendant
does not appear in court. The cosigner (indemnitor) also agrees to pay any expenses incurred by the bail agent
if he must locate the defendant to bring him in for the court appearance. Collateral maybe required for posting
some bonds based on the residency of the defendant, the amount of the bond, and the nature of the crime.
What is an indemnitor/guarantor/cosigner?
A bail bond indemnitor is the cosigner for the bail bond. The indemnitor is responsible for guaranteeing the
defendant's appearance at all his/her scheduled court dates until the case is concluded. The indemnitor is
responsible for additional expenses incurred by the bail agent if he must locate the defendant to bring him in for
the court appearance. The indemnitor is also responsible for seeing that all premiums are paid for a defendant's
bail. The indemnitor is no longer liable for the defendant's bail once the defendant has completed all of his/her
scheduled court appearances and when all premiums have been paid.
What is a bail bond forfeiture?
Bail bond forfeiture results when a court appearance is missed by the defendant. Once a defendant misses
his/her court date, a bond forfeiture is issued to the bail agent and a warrant is issued for the defendant's arrest
for failure to appear. The bail agent may hire a bounty hunter to locate, arrest and return the defendant to
court. If the defendant has not been located or has not turned him or herself in by the forfeiture date, the bail
agent pays the full bail bond amount to the court. Consequently, the bail agent takes action against the
indemnitor for the full bail amount plus expenses by filing a civil law suit and foreclosing on any collateral
guaranteeing the bail.
How much does it cost to bail someone out?
A surety bond in Louisiana will cost you a premium of 12% plus applicable bond fees and jail fees of $30 to $60
based on the jail location. The premium may vary from state to state based on the laws and statues of the state.
All premiums and fees are Nonrefundable.
Example: A $6000 bail would cost a total of $775. ($6000 x 12% plus administrative fee and jail fee)
Do I get my money back for the bond?
The premiums and fees paid to the bail agent are not refundable. Once the defendant leaves the jail, the
money is spent, even if the court case takes place the following day and the defendant is found innocent.