When someone you know has been arrested and taken into custody, your first and foremost concern is how to get them out. Unfortunately, the average person does not have the bail amount readily available, and therefore a bail bondsman becomes necessary.
The set bail amount will vary based on several factors. Essentially the court will ask whether if this person was released, would they be a danger to society, and will they appear in court for their next scheduled hearing. If the facts point to the likelihood that this person will flee and neglect their court ordered duty to appear before the judge, or if the nature of their crime caused serious injury or harm to society they will have a higher bail.
The amount of bail paid is generally returned once the court process has been completed and the sentence given. However, to gather the money in the first place is not easy for the average American. A bail bondsman will pay the bond for you if you pay a certain percentage to the company. For example, if the bond is set at 20,000, you may be asked to pay the bail bondsman 15%, for a total of $3,000. Once you pay the 15%, the bail bonds company will pay the authorities the $20,000 which will be returned to them once the court process is complete. They will keep your $3,000 as their fee.