How Bail Bonds Works

If your friend or family member has been arrested, chances are they will need someone to post bail on their behalf. How does this work? If you find yourself in this situation, you have some options to consider.

The defendant’s bail process:

1. A person gets arrested and booked for a crime and is considered a defendant.

2. The defendant is held in jail while waiting for an initial court appearance, or “arraignment.” This is a brief hearing where the judge sets a bond amount that must be paid before the person is released from jail.

3. Once the judge sets the bond, either the defendant, a friend, or a family member can pay the full amount of the bond.

4. If no one has enough money to pay the full bail amount they can call a bail bondsman. This way, they only need to pay a small percentage of the bond to get their loved one out of jail.

5. After the bond is paid, the defendant is released from jail.

6. The defendant must appear at all court dates for the bond to remain active. Failure to appear may result in loss of money, collateral and, most importantly, the defendant’s freedom.


What happens if I can’t afford bail?

If you don’t have enough money to pay for bail, the defendant must wait in jail until their court date. A better option, however, is to hire a bail agent.

How much does a bail bondsman charge?

A bail bondsman in Tennessee charges a 10% premium of the full bond amount. For example, a $10,000 bond will cost a $1,000 premium. Once the premium has been paid, the bondsman will post the full amount of the bond and the defendant will be released from jail.

What information do I need to post bail for a friend?

When you call a bail agent you’ll need to know the defendant’s full name and date of birth, the location of the jail, the booking number and charges, and the bond amount.

Do I need to provide collateral to get bail money?

Depending on the amount of the bond and the severity of the alleged charge, a bail bondsman can require collateral to be signed over. Collateral is in addition to any paid premiums and could be cash, property, or any other asset. The purpose of collateral is to help guarantee the defendant appears in court.

After bail is paid, how long does it take to get out of jail?

Bail agents are available 24/7, so our response time is quick. Even though we can post your bail fast, it really depends on how crowded the jail is at the time the defendant is waiting to be released.