In order to best understand how bondsmen make money, you have to first understane how bail bonds work. (Follow that link if you’re unfamiliar. There’s even a video there should you be interested.)
So, now you know that bondsmen in California basically charge 10% of a full bail amount as a fee to get someone out of jail. According to certain court experts, 8 out of 10 defendants return to court without incident. The 10% paid to use the bail bonds company is not returned. This “premium” is the bondsman’s fee for assuming the risk of the defendant getting out of jail and returning to court as required. This is how bondsmen make a profit and are able to run their business. The amount paid to them was used in exchange for their services.
For California bail bonds, if the defendant does not show up for court, the bondsman and the person who signed the agreement have six months to return the defendant to the court system. In the rare cases where the defendant cannot be located, the bail bonds company can be subjected to losing the entire amount of the bond. If that’s the case, they usually hire or contracted investigators, also known as bounty hunters, which will track the defendant down.