How bail bonds work

The bail bond process works as follows

1. You locate a Bail Bond Agent on

2. You contact the Bail Bond Agent.

S/he will ask you for specific information about your friend/relative who is detained, including the following:

  • What is the person’s full legal name?
  • What is the person’s date of birth?
  • What is the arresting agency (CHP, Sheriff, etc)?
  • What county, city and state is the person being held in?
  • What is the booking number?
  • What is the charge?
  • How much is the bail amount?

(Your Agent may also require some basic information about the accused personal history, including where they work, previous arrests, and residency information.)

3. You provide your Bail Bond Agency with a percentage of the total bail amount.
(typically only 10% based upon the state where the jail is located) or try to finance it.

4. They will contact the jail facility and determine exact bail information and arrange to have your friend/relative released.

5. Your Bail Bond Agent will contact you as soon as arrangements have been completed.

6. You must stay readily available.
Your Bail Bond Agent will probably need to contact you several times during the bail process, so they will need you to provide them with a phone number where they can reach you. They may also need you to provide them with a fax number. (You can receive faxes at many grocery stores and Kinko’s Copy Centers nationwide.)

7. Please have patience.
Many detention facilities (especially those in large metropolitan areas) are very slow in processing and often have their telephone lines overloaded with calls.