A bail bondsman, bondsperson, bail agent, and bond agent are all names used for a person who is licensed by the Washington Department of Insurance to sell surety bonds and is authorized to conduct business in the State of Washington. He or she is an agent for an insurance company that sells surety bonds. A surety bond is an agreement made between a person and a bondsman. The bondsman agrees to post the necessary bond so the defendant can be released from jail. This agreement is backed by an insurance company contract signed by the person and the bondsman on behalf of the insurance company. There has to be enough cash or collateral to cover the full amount of the bond in case the defendant misses his or her court date. Only a person who has been licensed by the Washington Department of Insurance may post a surety bond.

Why would I hire a bondsman?

If you don’t have the cash to cover the full bond amount and sheriff’s fee, you may wish to hire a bondsman to bond yourself or someone else out of jail. A surety bail bond through a bail bond company like A-Affordable Bail Bonds typically costs 10 percent of the total bond amount, plus any additional fees. This can vary company to company, however. A-Affordable Bail Bonds is also authorized to provide a discounted rate of eight percent for active military, union members, and clients who have hired a private attorney to represent them. Also, as mentioned above, sometimes the court keeps a cash bond in part or in full to cover a defendant’s court fines and fees. If you are bonding someone out of jail and you don’t want to take the chance that all or part of your cash will be used to pay the defendant’s court fines, fees and restitution, you might want to hire a bail bondsman.

How much does a surety bond cost?

A surety bond will cost you a 10 percent of the bond amount, an agent’s fee, and a sheriff’s fee. You will not get any of these fees back because they are nonrefundable regardless of the guilt or innocence of the defendant and are fully earned upon the posting of the bond.

How do I post a surety bond?

Call A-Affordable Bail Bonds toll free at (866) 695-8950 and we would be happy to assist you with the bonding process. We post bonds in every county throughout the state of Washington, whether we have a physical office location there or not, as many of our independent bail agents work from home and travel in order to serve clients in nearby areas. Typically, there is a short process to clearing an individual as a cosigner, followed by dispatching an agent to post the bond at the jail and fill out some paperwork with the defendant and cosigner. With advances in technology, we are also able to complete bonds via phone, fax, or email in many cases and we would be happy to discuss those options with you.

If I’m a cosigner, what will I have to do?

As a cosigner, you are responsible for ensuring that the defendant attends all court dates relating to the case. If the defendant misses a court date, you will be expected to help the bondsman find the defendant and get them back into court right away. If the bondsman has to search for or arrest the defendant in order to get him or her back into court, the cosigner must pay the bondsman’s expenses for finding the defendant. If the cosigner and bondsman are unable to find the defendant and return him or her to the court within a set amount of time, the cosigner must pay the full amount of the bond in addition to any costs associated with searching for the defendant, as noted above.

Before signing any contracts or promissory notes, make sure you read through them carefully and be sure that you understand them. Ask the bail agent or company, like A-Affordable Bail Bonds, if you have any questions prior to signing these types of documents. Always get copies of all documents you sign at the time you sign them. In the state of Washington, all bail bond companies are required by state law to supply copies of these documents to the defendant and all cosigners on a bond.