If a judge grants you bail, you are under no obligation to pay it. Bail is an opportunity for you to get out of jail while the date for your trial is pending. After most people are arrested, they would rather get out of jail than wait in jail until their trial comes up. After all, it is difficult to work from jail, see friends while in jail, and participate in a family life while in jail.
If you are interested in paying bail, then there are a number of options available to you:
Post Bail on Your Own
If you have enough money sitting around, you can post a bail bond in your own, which means that you pay for your own bail bond. Because bails are often several thousand dollars, most people do not have the money to post a bail bond without assistance. In some cases, you may have a friend or a family member that can lend you whatever money you do not have so that you can get out of jail. Posting bail on your own is the most cost-effective way to get out of jail because you will get this money back as long as you show up in court for your trial.
Work with a Bonding Agency
There are many bail bonding agencies that will become available to you if you are in jail. The majority of the bail bonding agencies will charge a ten percent down payment in order to get you out of jail. In essence, you are paying the bail bonding agency to take a risk on you. The down payment is made based on a percentage of your bail amount. A defendant will not get this money back. However, the bonding agency will get 100 percent of the money that is forks over to the court back as long as the defendant shows up to court. For this reason, bail bonding agencies have a financial interest in hiring bounty hunters and other officials to make sure that you show up in court or that you are apprehended in a timely manner if you fail to show up in court.
As you can see, bail is strictly optional, but most people that have the opportunity to get out of jail take advantage of it so that they can return to work or return to their families.