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FAQ


What is bail?
The amount of money paid to a bondsman for the release of a defendant from jail pending trial.

What is a bond?
The amount of security set by a judge or magistrate to ensure a defendant’s appearance in court.

How much does it cost to bail someone out of jail?
We charge 10% of the original bond amount to bail someone out of jail in the Commonwealth of Virginia with the exception of individuals charged with failure to appear in court. We charge 15% for individuals charged with failure to appear and a third-party co-signer is required.

What is a co-signer?
A co-signer on a bail bond contract indemnifies the bail bond company in the event that the entire bond amount is forfeited due to the defendant failing to appear in court.

Why do I need a co-signer?
Co-signers are required in the event the defendant fails to appear in court. If there is no co-signer there is no one to reimburse the bail bond company in the event the bond is forfeited by the court.

What are the qualifications of a co-signer?
There are no specific qualifications to co-sign a bail bond contract. We normally require our co-signers to be residents of Virginia with a valid ID, be currently employed and have the required fee to bail someone out of jail. But, every situation is different.

Can I bail myself out of jail?
It depends on the situation and the jail in which you are incarcerated. Some jails allow defendants to access their personal property (i.e., a debit or credit card) while in custody to pay their own bail. Keep in mind that a bail bond contract normally consists of three parties but, in some situations we allow defendants to act as their own co-signer.

What is collateral?
The entire bond amount or a percentage of the bond is pledged to the bail bond company for security in the event the bond is forfeited as a result of the defendant failing to appear in court.

Do I need collateral?
In some cases we accept collateral. We normally require collateral deposits on bonds we consider “high risk” or when the defendant is an out-of-state resident.

When do I get my collateral money back?
The Commonwealth of Virginia requires bail bondsmen to return collateral deposits within 15 days.

How long does it take to bail someone out of jail?
After all the paperwork is completed and the bail amount has been paid it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to several hours for someone to be released from jail.

Can I bail someone out of jail in Virginia if I’m an out-of-state resident?
Yes, out-of-state residents may post bonds for defendants in Virginia. You will have to provide proof of employment, proof of residence and a valid ID.

If I’m in Virginia can I bail someone out of jail in another state?
Yes, if the state you would like to bail someone out requires a surety bond, a licensed bail bondsman in Virginia can bail that person out through an affiliate bonding company.

Do I need to leave my home to bail someone out of jail?
No, you can easily bail someone out of jail from the comfort of your own home, work or any other location. If you’re paying by credit card, debit card or any other form of electronic payment, your application may be completed over the phone. The bail bond contract will be sent to you via email and will need to be signed before the bond is posted.

What is the difference between a secured and unsecured bond?
A secured bond means you have to pay a fee to a bail bondsman, the entire bond amount to the court or post real property to secure someone’s release from jail. An unsecured bond means no payment or collateral is required and the defendant's signature will guarantee their release.

What is a personal recognizance bond?
Personal recognizance bonds are similar to unsecured bonds. They only require the defendant’s signature to be released.

What is an appeal bond?
A bond that allows the defendant to remain out of jail during an appeal of the judge’s original sentence.

What is a purge bond?
A bond that requires the full amount to be paid in order for the defendant to be released from jail in child support cases.

What is a performance bond?
A bond is issued by an insurance company or bank to guarantee the completion of a contract.

Do I have to use a bail bondsman?
If someone is in jail with a secured bond you don’t have to hire a bail bondsman. You can pay the entire bond amount to the court or post real property as collateral. Bail bondsmen are the most popular method of getting someone out of jail because most people can’t afford to pay the entire bond amount or have real property to use as collateral.

Will I get my money back if I hire a bail bondsman?
All bail bond premiums are non-refundable.

What happens if the person I bailed out of jail fails to appear in court?
A warrant will be issued for the person’s arrest and a bail enforcement agent will be hired to locate the individual.

Can I put someone back in jail after I bail them out?
Yes, you may release yourself from the obligations under the bail bond contract you have signed. Keep in mind, if there’s no one to replace you as the co-signer on the bail bond contract the defendant’s bond will be revoked and they will be put back in jail. The fee to release yourself from the bail bond contract and have the defendant put back in jail is 25% of the original bond.

How much does it cost to switch co-signers on a bail bond contract?
We charged a $50 application fee to switch co-signers.

May I leave the Commonwealth of Virginia while I’m out on bond?
Unless the judge or magistrate grants you permission, you may not leave the Commonwealth of Virginia while out on bond. If you wish to leave, your attorney will have to petition the court and ask for the permission on your behalf.