If you are arrested for a non-capital offense, you need to post bail in order to stay out of jail until your court date. The amount of bail is determined by a judge. If you can’t pay your bail, then you need to get a bail bond. The popular YouTube channel The Infographics Show explains how bail bonds work.
You or someone you trust outside of jail need to contact bail bondsmen. They post your bail and you are free to go, but you must come back to court for your trial or for any other reason the court deems necessary.
Bail bonds work as loans to the bail bond agency. Your loan is at least 10% more than the amount of your bail, plus fees. You may need to provide collateral to the bail bonds agency in order to get a bail bond. Collatoral is what you pledge to give the bail bond company if you cannot pay your bail bond back in full. Collatoral is often property, but can also be fine art or investment securities.
Bail bondsmen are also responsible for making sure that you show up for all of your scheduled court dates. If you miss a court date, the bail bond agency does not get your bail at the end of your trial.