If someone has been accused of a serious crime, they might be fortunate enough that a judge orders for bail to be set for them. If you are being asked for bail money, however, it’s important to understand how the bail system works.
A defendant who has had bail set for them can pay an amount of money that will be held in trust by the government. When the defendant arrives for their court date, that money is returned to the defendant. If the defendant does not appear in court, however, the money is used to pay a bail agent to return them to court.
Because bail is often expensive, many bail agents will pay the bail for a defendant. As long as the defendant arrives in court, they only owe a nominal fee to the bail agent. If they do not appear, however, the bail agent will charge the defendant the entire amount of the bail they just paid to the court, plus other charges and fees. The bail agent then returns the defendant to court in order to get their bail bond money back.