Bail is set to make sure you show up to court. You are basically giving money to the court to make sure you show up on your court date. If you show up, you get it back. If you pull a no show, they keep it and issue a warrant to arrest you and keep you in jail until your court date.
Bail is set for $50,000. You don't have $50,000. You pay the bail bondsman 10% of the bail (which is $5,000), and he puts it up the $50,000 for you.
You usually have to put up some kind of collateral for this. Collateral is something that guarantees that he is not going to loose his money if you don't show up. Collateral is usually the deed to moms house, or your car title.
So for $5,000 to the bail bondsman keeps you out of jail until your court date.
If you don't show up to court he owes the court $50,000. Which means if you don't show up, he hunts you down, and turns you in. If he can't find you, he keeps the collateral (your car or moms house).
If you show up to court, you keep your collateral (moms house, or your car title) and he still keeps your $5,000. But it usually is worth it to not hang out jail.
So even though he keeps your money, bail bondsman are good because they help keep you out of jail. And jail sucks.
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