How Does The Bail Process Work?

There are so many aspects of the bail process and most people are completely unaware of how it all works.  Please call us at the 49th Street Bail Bonds Office (727-592-0000) and speak with one of our bail bond agents to clarify any questions you may have. We are the bondsman on 49th Street and we are here to help.

Once a person is arrested they are taken to the local jail for processing. The processing (booking) takes about 1-3 hours to complete. Once the booking process is complete the arrested person will have the option to stay in jail or bond out.

By staying in jail, the arrested person will be held until the case(s) are satisfied. This process usually takes more than one month and more than one court appearance. Most people choose to post their bond immediately.

To bond out of jail, you have 2 options. Pay a bond with a bail bond company or cash bail bond by paying the full amount of the bond(s) in cash. The cash bail bond option means that you will have to deliver cash to the jail. Some jails even accept credit cards.

Contact your local jail to find out their payment requirements. If you post a cash bond your money can and will be used to pay all the court fees by Florida statute. Basically you should be aware that you will not receive a refund from this transaction as your money is applied to the court costs. If a refund is available, a check will be mailed to you from the Clerk of Court usually within sixty days after the case(s) are closed. Contact the Clerk of Court regarding any refund on cash bonds.

Posting a bond with a Florida Bail Bond Agent: The bail bond agent (bail bond company) will charge you a premium or percentage of the total bond amount. In the State of Florida the bail bond fees are set by the State and are not negotiable. For any bond that is $1,000 or under will cost you $100. If a bond is greater than $1,000. then you would pay 10% of that bond. Example: one bond set at $500 will cost $100 with a bail bond company. If one bond is set at $1,500 that will cost 10% or $150 premium with a bail bond company.

If your person has multiple bonds (charges) then you must pay for each bond. Example: bonds are set at $750, 150 & 100. You will have to pay $300. $100 per bond as they each fall under $1000. 49th Street Bail Bonds can assist you with some financing (payment plan) if you can’t afford the total fees today.  Usually we can start the bonding process before the booking is complete if you know what the bond amount is.  Otherwise we may have to wait until the booking process is complete.
Call us now at so we can check your persons booking status.

Why use a Bail Bond Company?

When you cannot afford the total amount of a bond or you choose not to pledge all your money up front. You may decide to hire a Florida bail bondsman. Remember that if a bond is set at $5000 you could post a 10% premium with a bondsman instead of paying all of the $5000 (cash bond). What a bail bond company will do is pay the bond to the jail to secure the release. For our fee we offer extensive experience of the court and jail systems. We can make this very difficult situation quite painless for you and your family.

How does the bail bonding process work?

If you have decided to post a cash bond at the jail, contact the jail and have them tell you exactly what that particular jail requires for payment. Jail payment policies change often so call ahead first.

If you’re posting a bond at our 49th Street Bail Bonds office in Clearwater Florida, we can expedite the process if you call ahead first. It’s ok to just show up as the whole process at our Pinellas County Florida office will take about 15 minutes. A few forms have to be completed but our bail bond staff does most of the work. Once we are done, our bail bond agents will deliver the bond paperwork to the jail immediately. You do not have to do anything more.

Once the jail receives a bond:
The jail has numerous procedures to complete before a person is released from jail. This process generally takes 2-5 hours. As a rule of thumb, the bigger the jail, the longer the release process takes. You do not have to be at the jail for the release. Once the defendant is released he/she will need to stop by the 49th Street Bail Bonds office to complete the paperwork and discuss the next court date. This will take less than 5 minutes.

Court and Court dates:
Our office will provide all the court date information. Typically there is not a scheduled court date at the time of release. The clerk of the court will usually notify 49th Street Bail Bonds within 2-4 weeks for a first court date. This first court date is typically called an arraignment.  This is where the defendant will plead guilty or not guilty.  A guilty plea will resolve the case that day. A not guilty plea will set the case for additional court dates.  A not guilty plea means you are fighting the charge. Expect your case to last for several months and require numerous court appearances. When you fight a charge you will typically need to be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will usually appoint the Public Defender’s Office. Contact the Clerk of Court, Public Defender’s Office or your local Bar Association for additional information.

Charges without pre-set court dates:
If you are released with “To Be Notified” status or “Call of the Court” status, the Clerk of Court will notify you and our office by mail.  Our bail bond office will call you the day we receive that notice.  This process may take a few weeks before the first court date is set. Trust us! Our office will always notify you of court dates. Our bail bondsman will call you a few days before every court appearance. It is your obligation to keep your contact information current with our office. Also, you can always call us to obtain the latest court information. It is advised that you log into the Clerk of Court website (www.pinellasclerk.org) to access your online file for the latest updates on your case.

Transfer Bonds:
If your person is incarcerated in a jail outside your home town we can arrange a bond to be posted practically any where in the United States. This process is called a transfer bond. We arrange all the paperwork in our office but the local bail bond company will post the bond and deal with that particular jail to ensure the defendant is released ASAP. All transfer bonds will cost additional fees beyond the normal bail bond premium. In the State of Florida we can get a transfer bond posted between $50-100 additional. Other States may cost considerably more. We have hundreds of affiliated agents throughout the United States. Call us now at to discuss your options.

Collateral:
Collateral is not always required when posting a bond through 49th Street Bail Bonds. Each and every situation is different. If collateral is required, we will hold something of value ( car title, real estate, cash, jewelry, etc) to offset any loss if the defendant fails to appear. As long as the defendant appears and the case is resolved, you will get your collateral back. A contract is considered collateral even though you haven’t given anything except your signature. We usually will only require a signature bond (release).

Signature Bonds-Signature Release/No Collateral Bonds:
This is a term that is used when you post a bond for someone without pledging additional collateral to secure the bond.  A signature bond is when you will sign only a contract that you pledge to repay the bonding company if the defendant skips court (failure to appear). If they fail to appear you will come in and pay us back the total amount lost. The two standard contracts generally signed are a Promissory Note and Indemnity Agreement.  See a copy of these forms here.

Federal / Immigration Bail Bonds:
If your person is being held in jail on a federal immigration case. You can still post a Federal Bond but the fee will be 15% and will require collateral. Federal bonds are very intricate. These type of cases have additional risk due to Federal guidelines. Call us at 727-592-0000 to discuss your situation.

Warrants/Warrant Checks (capias) for your arrest:
49th Street Bail Bonds has a network we can access to see if you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest. If you have an active warrant we can assist you in turning yourself in and bonding back out immediately. This process is termed a “walk thru arrest”. This process is very quick and convenient.

Jail Inmate Search:
Most County Jails are now offering inmate search information online. 49th Street Bailbonds has an extensive network of jails throughout the United States to access for current inmate information. We have listed just a few local sites to search. Call us if your county is not listed or, if you prefer our on call bail agent can assist you with your search.  We can run a county jail inmate search for you.