Sometimes people have to help a family member, a loved one, or a friend who has been taken into custody by the police. With all the panic and anxiety wrapped around the bail process, most people don’t think about the responsibilities associated with the bail bond and what the fundamentals of the bail bond are.

Bail bonds are used for releasing a defendant from jail. After the submission of the bail bond to the court, the defendant is released from jail on the condition that they will return for trial. Bail bond companies usually only charge ten percent of the bail amount, which makes it easier for a friend or a family member to bail another person out. For example, if the amount of bail is set at 10,000, the consumer will be required to pay $1,000 for the release of the defendant. It is worth noting that the bail premium cannot be refunded, as the bail company earns this for its services. Now that we have cleared what a bail bond is, let us look at your responsibilities when signing a bail bond and fundamentals of a bail bond contract.


When you are signing a bail bond contract, you’ll take on these responsibilities:

  • The first responsibility is that you will ensure that the defendant won’t attempt to run away and attend trial every time without fail.
  • If the defendant doesn’t come for trial, then you’ll have to pay additional charges if the bail firm has to take the assistance of another agency for bringing back the defendant.
  • If the defendant is able to escape and can’t be found, then you’ll have to pay the entire bail amount that was set by the court. If the collateral was taken when signing the contract, that would be used for paying towards the bail and won’t be returned

When someone isn’t able to return to court, a bench warrant will be issued for the defendant’s arrest. The originally paid bail will be fortified, and the person who didn’t attend trial will be located with the help of a recovery agent.


Q.1) I am the co-signer for another person, and I think that they won’t return to court for trial. Can I get my name off the bond?

No, there is no way you can take your name off the bond. Once you sign on the bond contract, you become the indemnitor and will be completely responsible for the amount of bail bond while it remains active. The bail bond agent trusts the signer when they assume responsibility for their friend, loved one, or family member. The signer personally knows the defendant, while the bail bond agent doesn’t. Therefore, the signer can’t change their mind or feelings about signing for the defendant later. They should be confident when signing for the bond; once they take on the responsibility, they can’t go back. If the defendant doesn’t return to the court for trial, their neck will be on the line.

Q.2) If the defendant gets released and the charges are dropped against them, do I still have to pay for the bond?

Yes. The bail payments that are arranged when you were signing the bail bond contract must be made until the entire premium is completely paid off. Even if there are changes in the case, it doesn’t make any difference to the original terms of the payment. Remember that the premium isn’t refundable once the bail bond agent has provided their service and gotten the defendant released from jail.

Before you decide to bail another person out, ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you trust the person?
  • Do you know them really well?
  • Will they return to court for trial?
  • Do they have a stable job?

Strongly consider the history and background of the person you are signing for. Make sure to read all the fundamentals of the contract before you sign on the dotted line. Below, we have explained some important fundamentals of the bail bond contract.


The bail bond contract is a complicated legal document. There are many important things that are discussed in it. A typical bail bond contract will require the following information about the defendant:

Defendant’s Name and Address

  • Name
  • Home phone, cell phone, and work phone
  • Email
  • Current home address
  • Former home address

Personal Description

  • Date of birth
  • Location of birth
  • Sex
  • Race
  • Social Security #
  • Driver’s License #
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Eye color
  • Hair color
  • Scars, marks, tattoos
  • Complexion
  • S. Citizen or not
  • Nationality
  • Medical conditions (if any)

Arrest Information

  • Date of arrest
  • Booking name
  • Arresting agency
  • Jail location
  • Charges
  • Previous arrests
  • Pending charges in other countries

Employment Information

  • All occupations for the last five years
  • Current employer name
  • Supervisor’s name
  • Most recent former employee name
  • Supervisor’s name
  • Next most recent former employee name
  • Supervisor’s name

Marital Status/Children Information

  • Married, divorced, separated, widowed, or single
  • Spouse’s name
  • Address (if different)
  • Home phone and cell phone
  • Social Security No #
  • Occupation
  • Employer
  • Supervisor’s name
  • Work phone #
  • Child’s name and date of birth


  • Auto year, make, model, color, plate #, and state
  • Where financed
  • Amount owed
  • Insurance agent’s name
  • Insurance agent’ phone


  • Name and firm
  • Phone #

Relatives and Friends

  • Father’s name, address, home phone, cell phone, work phone, employer, and email
  • Mother’s name, address, home phone, cell phone, work phone, employer, and email
  • Other relative’s/friend’s name, relation, address, cell phone, work phone, employer, and email
  • Other relative’s/friend’s name, relation, address, cell phone, work phone, employer, and email

The bail contract contains specific words that are important to understand for anyone who is singing it. ‘First party’ means the person who is paying for the bond – it could be a co-signer or the defendant. ‘Second party’ means bail bond agency while the defendant is referred to as the ‘principle.’ The bail bond firm is backed by an insurance company, and that insurance firm is referred to as ‘surety.’ ‘Collateral’ – like cars or real estate – may be required for posting bail. If payments aren’t made, the bail agency may take possession of the collateral.

In a typical bail bond contract, a non-refundable amount is mentioned, which is ten percent of the total bail amount set by the judge. This amount cannot be returned under any condition. A statement from a bail bond contract of an agency explains this:

“To pay the ’bail amount’ per annum for the bail bond. Even if the defendant is improperly arrested, their case is dismissed, or their bail is reduced, any portion of the premium will not be returned.”

It is easy to understand this term of the bail bond contract – it means that two parties are agreeing to payment, and the money isn’t refundable. However, the word ‘annum’ is surprising. It actually means that if you paid 10 percent to get released from the jail and your case drags on for more than a year, then you will have to pay another 10 percent of your bail. It isn’t uncommon for cases in the country to take years to be resolved. This means that even if you aren’t in jail, you’ll still be required to pay ten percent of the bail amount.

The terms of a bail bond contract state that when you sign the contract, you pay money to the bail bond firm for securing the bail. Once the firm starts working on getting you released and you later decide that you don’t want to get released from the jail, you will be on the hook for all those costs.

What happens when you leave out important information or provide false information when discussing your bail with a bail bond agent? Well, the terms of the bail bond contract cover this type of scenario. If the bail bond agent feels that it is necessary, they may ask you to pay the entire amount of the bail. For example, the bail set by the court is $10,000. If you misrepresent information, the bail bond agent can come after you for this money.

Another statement of a bail bond contract states:

“The surety can examine the motor vehicle records, credit history, employment history, records, and books of the undersigned, or assets covered by the bond.”

If you agree to this term, it’ll mean that you are giving access to your private information for your freedom. Why do bail bond agents need this information from you? This information is required so that they can find you if you try to hide or flee.

Another term of a bail bond contract states:

“You agree that a location tracking device may be attached to any car that is owned by you, without notice, and monitor the location of the car through available technology. You also agree that surety may use location technologies for locating your wireless device at any time during the time of your bail and any applicable remission period.”

This statement means that you are giving the insurance company the right to track you. They do this to ensure that you don’t attempt to flee. If you try to escape, you will be tracked down and taken into custody.


Posting bail for another person can be risky. It is, therefore, vital that you take the time to think about your decision to post bail for someone else. You should only arrange bail for someone who you know very well. You should also be sure that the person you are posting bail for won’t try to flee. If they don’t show up for the trial, you will be in serious trouble and will have to pay the bail amount. Your collateral could also get possessed by the bail bond agency. Therefore, only sign on the bail bond contract if you are absolutely certain that the defendant won’t try to flee.

Different bail bond agencies have different contracts, but some terms are similar. We have explained some of the most common terms that you will find in a standard bail bond contract. Make sure that you understand each fundamental of the bail bond contract means before signing the dotted line. If something is unclear, you can ask the bail bond agent to explain it to you, and they will make things clear. You can also take assistance from your attorney in this matter and have them look at the bail bond contract before signing. We hope you find the information provided above helpful. In case you have any questions or if something is unclear, feel free to reach out to us. We will be more than happy to help you out.