Once in jail, some criminals can get temporary freedom through bail bonds. Bail bonds are basically contractual undertakings between the person posting bail and the bail bond broker. With the bail bond, it is the responsibility of the bail bond broker to promise the appearing of the defendant in court when summoned.
It is usually kith or kin who contacts the bail agent for the release of the defendant through a bail bond. The bail amount for the defendant is decided by the judge, where the bail agent receives a percentage of the amount. Once the bail bond is signed, the person posting bail guarantees that on the absence of the defendant when summoned, the bail amount will be paid in full.
In some cases, the bail agent prefers to have the defendant or co-signer have a collateral for the bail bond. Though a collateral may not be required by the agent, the co-signer should at least have a steady income live in a rented or own home which is near the defendant. This is as a precaution in case the bail agent cannot locate the defendant wherein the co-signer has to pay the complete bail amount. In such cases, once the defendant is found and held in custody, the expenses the bail agent incurs looking for the defendant has to be borne by the co-signer.
Bail bonds can also be arranged for the defendant through a bail bondsman. In such a case, the defendant has to arrange for collateral to the bail bondsman wherein the bail bondsman guarantees to pay the court if the defendant does not appear for trial. Once all court appearances are completed, and the case is closed, the bail bond dissolves and the collateral placed is returned to the defendant.