Definition of Bail Bond
A bail bond is a contract between the accused and the bail bondsman. The bail bondsman pays the bail for the accused and the accused is then released from jail. The defendant pays a fee to the bail bondsman which the bondsman keeps after the accused is released from jail. If the accused fails to appear in court the bail bondsman losses the bond.
A bail bond is not a loan. Keep in mind the bail bondsman is charging a percentage of the bail amount, generally 10%. This amount is not returned to the client if the defendant agrees to appear in court. If a defendant chooses to use a bail bondsman they can get access to a line of credit, the defendant is generally released within a few hours of presenting the bond to court and the defendant or their family will not have to post the entire bail in cash.
Because bail bondsmen are liable for the bail bond amount and will lose the bond if the accused does not appear in court it is not unusual for them to hire bounty hunters to track down defendants who have left town or who fail to appear in court. If a bounty hunter finds the defendant they may be paid anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of the total bail bond. This means an experienced bounty hunter who works 80 to 150 cases a year can earn anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000 annually.