Bail is traditionally defined as some form of collateral (property or cash) deposited or pledged to a court in order to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail (and be guilty of the crime of failure to appear).
A Bail Bond is a bond placed by a Commercial Surety, a business which helps people who may not have the property or the cash available to make a bond on their own. When a person is arrested, he or she may have the opportunity to pay bail. This is a payment that the arrested person may be able to make to the court in order to leave jail until trial. The payment is a way that the court can help ensure that the accused will appear at any future court dates. In some cases, the amount of bail may be more than the accused can pay by him or herself. In these cases, bail bonds may be useful since they allow people to pay some percentage of their bail with a bail bonding agency putting up the rest.
A bail bondsman or Bail Agent is the person with the authority to post bail bonds for a Commercial Surety. A bail bond agent, or bondsman, is any person or corporation that will act as a surety and pledge money or property as bail for the appearance of a criminal defendant in court.
Upon contacting a Bail Agent he can verify with the facility if an inmate is being held, the charges and the bail amount. The charge for Bonds in the State of Louisiana is 12% except in Orleans Parish which is 13% or Jefferson Parish which is 12.5%. In addition there are release and processing fees which vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Collateral in addition to these fees is also required. In most cases a Promissory Note & Indemnity Agreement is used for that purpose. This agreement obligates the signer for financial purposes only. In the event the defendant does not meet his required court appearances the signer would be responsible for all expenses or losses suffered by the bonding agents.