If you are arrested and taken to jail, you will have a hearing before a judge to determine if they think the charges are appropriate. The judge will also set your bail during that hearing and tell you when you have to be back in the courtroom for the trial. Once you know the bail amount, you may need someone to cover it for you.
Call a Bail Bond Agency
The most common place to call if you need bail money is a bail bond agency. The bond agency will send a bondsman to talk to you about your case, the crime, your stability and standing in the community, and your ability to pay the fee that comes with the bond service. The fee can be different from one crime to another, but often, ten percent of the bond and an administration fee is the requirement. If you don't have the cash, some agencies will work with collateral or work with someone else, like a family member, to bail you out.
While there are some bond companies that will allow you to put a car or house up as collateral on a bond, the property is not the first choice. If you default or fail to appear in court, they could take a car or house to recover their loss, but the reality is that the time and expense in seizing that collateral is a bigger hassle than most bond companies want to deal with. That time is better spent hunting you down and returning you to jail until the new court date.
Follow the Rules
The bail company is going to want you to check in often — sometimes daily, depending on the crime. Follow the rules that they give you and check in as requested if you want to stay out of jail. Most bail companies will not hesitate to revoke your bail if they suspect you are not staying out of trouble or following the guidelines that you agree to when you accept their services.
Skipping Bail Is a Bad Idea
Most people think that if they run and hide, they can outsmart the bail agent hunting them. That is most likely not going to be the case. The bail agent has a lot of resources and if they have been working in the industry long, they likely have a large network of people to help find you. If you do skip bail, once you are in custody again, the court is not likely going to grant bail a second time. It the judge does, you may have a hard time finding a company to post your bond.