California Bail Bonds Agencies FAQ’s

What Does a Bail Bondsman Do?

The field of bail bonds is often times foreign for people who have never needed to work with an bail bondsman. People frequently wonder what qualifications a person must have in order to work in the industry and whether it has any oversight.

The California bail industry is regulated by the California Department of Insurance. This means that anyone who wishes to post, sell, and provide bail bonds services must go through a training program and pass a stringent background test prior to receiving their license.

When you think about it, this makes sense. Bail bonds are basically insurance policies that promise a defendant, after they are released from jail, will return to court when required in order to have their case resolved. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bonds company that posted the bond and the person who signed the bail application will need to get the defendant back into court or become liable for paying the full amount of the defendant’s set bail to the court.

How Do Bondsmen Make Money?

Bondsmen assume a liability every time they bail someone out of jail and this is why they charge a premium for the service they provide. In California, the legal rate to charge for a bail bond is 10% of the total amount of a defendant’s bail. That rate is set by the Department of Insurance and it is the industry standard.

If you need assistance in helping get a friend or loved one released from jail and you see an advertisement for 2% or 5% bail bonds, beware. Companies that advertise these lower rates are either using deceptive “bait and switch” marketing tactics or they may even be operating outside of the law. Although everyone likes the idea of being able to save money, you should be wary of working with a company that is operating illegally, especially if you are asked to post collateral to secure the bond.

How Do I Start the Process?

Many bail bonds companies operate 24-hours a day, 365-days a year and can assist their clients with having a bond posted at any time, day or night. Some bondsmen even offer their clients the option of online bail via phone, email and fax. This can be especially convenient for someone who is unable to get away from work, may be caring for a small child or children, or who is unable to drop everything to immediately drive across town to meet with a bondsman in person.

What if I Cannot Afford To Pay for A Bail Bond?

Flexible bail bond payment plans are frequently available to those who qualify and some companies extend zero-percent bail bonds financing terms to their clients. Prior to deciding which company to work with you should make sure they are able to assist you in a way that’s compassionate, convenient, and works within your budget parameters.

If you have further questions about how bail works and how to get someone out of jail fast, be sure to ask the bondsman you’re speaking with to help you fully understand the process.


For immediate bail bonds assistance, call and speak to an expert bondsman at 1-877-861-3761.


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Updated:  02/27/2012