Bail is the tool that the courts use to make sure that defendant arrives at court for their proceedings when they are supposed to. At the first arrest, bail is set by the judge depending on what crime the defendant has been charged with, and whether the judge considers the defendant to be a “flight risk”.
A defendant is not considered a “flight risk” if he or she:
- Is well established within the community
- Has a job
- Has many family members within the community
Once bail is posted, often times, families or friends cannot afford to pay for bail. At this point they will call a bondsman who will be given some form of collateral so that the defendant will do everything he or she needs to do for the court. The bondsman and the indemnitor will pledge to the court that the defendant will perform all of his or her proper duties.
For the judicial proceedings, if the defendant fulfilled all of his or her responsibilities, the defendant or the indemnitor will only need to pay the bondsman for his fee (that was paid before the proceedings) and not the entire bail. However, if the defendant “skips bail” then the indemnitor will need to pay the entire bail. The defendant will usually do everything that he or she needs to do, so that the indemnitor will not have to pay the entire bail.