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How to Choose the Right Bail Bondsman

Bail bonds are oftentimes the type of thing that you have to learn about in a time of tragedy and hardship either personally or for a friend or loved one. Many people have probably heard about bail, but very few people really know how the whole process works.

First, let’s talk about what bail is. When a defendant is arrested, a judge can release him or her on bail. Bail simply refers to an amount of money paid to the court so that the defendant can remain free during the duration of the trial. If a bail is not paid, then the defendant is locked up while awaiting a trial. Bail is not always an option for a defendant. If a judge considers a defendant to be a flight risk or if the defendant has a history of skipping court dates then the judge will typically then order the defendant to be held without bail, but if bail is issued typically a bail bond is required to pay it.

So what is a bail bond? A bail bond is issued by a bail bond agent. A bail bond allows most people to get their loved ones out of bail. When you or a loved one is in need of bail, typically the amount of bail is too much to pay. So you go to a bail bond agent who, after having you put down typically ten percent and some sort of collateral, pays the rest of the bail for you through a bail bond. This allows you or a loved one to stay out of jail while awaiting your trial.

Once the defendant shows up for court and the trial has concluded, the judge gives the bail back to the defendant and the bail bond agent. The bail bond agent gets to keep the ten percent you gave them in exchange for posting up the ninety-percent needed to get you out of jail. If the defendant does not show up for jail, the bail bond agent can come after you and attempt to bring you into court. Sometimes this is done through a bounty hunter though the laws governing this all vary state by state. If you cosign a bail bond and the defendant fails to show up to court, you may lose whatever asset or assets you put up for collateral such as a house or car. It’s very important to think carefully about co-signing a bail bond.

If you’re looking for trustworthy bail bond agents to work with who charge low fees and work with bail bonds in Van Nuys then head over to Sharky & Stephen Bail Bonds, a top-rated bail bond service.

Contrary to popular belief, not all bail bond agencies are the same. A bail bondsman’s primary objectives are the same in that their goal is to bond out of jail. However, you want to make sure you select the bond agency that’s right for you and your family.

What is a Bond Agent

Before beginning your search for a California bail bondsman you should understand what a bondsman is. Even though people use bail and bail bond interchangeably, they are not the same. The bail bondsman meaning and how a bail bondsman works aren’t very difficult to understand.

Bail vs Bond

Bail is the money the accused has to pay to get out of jail. The bond is the written agreement telling the defendant to appear in court. The bond is usually signed on the accused’s behalf by a bond agent because the bond agent is being paid by the defendant or family of the defendant to ensure that the defendant makes his or her court date.

Surety vs Federal Bondsman

There are two types of bondsmen: a surety bondsman and a federal bondsman.

A surety or general bondsman is a state-licensed agent who can only operate in the state in which they are licensed.

A federal bondsman is licensed by the federal government. An immigration bondsman is federally licensed to post a bond for the release of someone from an immigration detention facility.

Federal bonds guarantee that defendants will comply to all conditions agreed upon for his/her bail. These conditions may include drug testing and limited travel or no travel. Federal bonds tend to be more expensive because of the high risk of flight.

Bail is not guaranteed.


Gavel and euro banknotes. Bail bond or penalty in EU.


How to Get a Bail Bondsman

There are plenty of bond agents in California. At Sharky & Stephen, we know that the unexpected can happen and that you will need a bond agent who is ready to act 24/7 to get you out of a tough bind. We want you to know what to look for when searching for the right bail bond agency for you and your loved ones.


When searching for a bond agency, you want to research their reputation. You want a bond agent who has a reputation for doing good work. Best way to find a reputable bond agent is through defense attorneys. Bond agents who work with defense attorneys have a reputation for quality work. You may even be able to have your fee reduced to 8% through an attorney-referred agency.

Ask detention officers. They can usually point you in the direction of reputable bond agencies. Get to know the detention officers or have your attorney befriend a detention officer and get the inside scoop on a trustworthy bond agency.


While people are more likely to express their displeasure with a business in online reviews, consumer reviews can give you insight into that business. Reading other people’s experiences with an agency can tell you a lot about their customer service and whether or not that agency lives up to what’s written on their website. Check out consumer agencies Like the Better Business Bureau. Also, be sure to check to see if a business is on Yelp or Google Reviews. Bond agencies will usually include reviews and testimonials on their website.

Before you embark on your search, ask yourself these questions? Do you need an agency that is available 24 hours to answer any questions you may have? Will you need an agent who will help you understand the process? If you’re looking for bail bonds in Los Angeles, Sharky & Stephen Bailbonds have the experience you need in a bond agency to handle your bond quickly and discreetly. And if you’re interested in how to become a bail bondsman, we can help put you on the right path, too.