Q: What is a bail bondsman?
A: A bail bondsman is a person who is licensed by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) to transact bail. This person works on behalf of an insurance company and is permitted to post “bail bonds” at a jail. A bail bond is a piece of paper that promises that if a defendant is released while pending trial, they will return to court when required to have their case resolved. The bondsman also acknowledges if the defendant decides to flee, they will need to pay the full cost of their bail to the court as a penalty.
A bail bondsman charges a non-refundable fee for this service. That fee is set by the CDI and is equal to 10% of the total cost of a defendant’s bail. An alternative to working with a San Diego bail bondsman is to post the full bail amount with the jail in the form of cash or a cashier’s check. As long as the defendant makes all their necessary court appearances this money will be returned to the person who posted it at the conclusion of the case.
Many people do not have tens of thousands of dollars immediately available, which is why most people choose to work with a bail bondsman.