How Bail Bonds Work in Washington: Don’t Sign Any Bail Contract Until You Read This

In the case that you or a loved one is in need of posting bail in order to be released from jail, it is important that you know and fully understand how bail bonds work in Washington. Continue reading for more information on how to post bail in case you are in need of being released from any county or local jail in Washington.

Who is eligible to post bail for an inmate in Washington?

When posting bail, or posting security, any person who is 18 years old or older can post security at the arresting county’s sheriff’s office. Security posts are accepted at any time on any day. A current inmate cannot post security for another current inmate. This is especially true about bail in King County WA.

When can bail be posted for an inmate?

The time at which bail can be posted for an inmate will depend on the status of the inmate. If the inmate has been arrested for the first time, bond can be posted shortly after being booked. Cash or a credit card can be used by another individual or can be posted by the inmate personally if the money is readily on hand. If money is deposited into the inmate’s account, it can be used to post bail personally. However, if other fees are owed by the inmate to the court, those fees will be deducted from 40% of the deposited funds.

How much money should you expect to pay when posting bail?

An individual can find out how much money is required to post security for an inmate by contacting the jail or by searching the inmate custody list. Typically, you will be shown the full amount of the security but will only be required to pay 10% of that amount if the full amount cannot be paid.

In the case of traffic violation charges, you may be required to pay the entire security amount. There is no negotiation or decreased amount for those security amounts. Security amounts can be changed if there are any updates on the Washington inmate’s charges.

How to post bail in Washington state if charged with multiple offenses?

In the case that an inmate is charged with more than one offense for just one case, the inmate will only be required to post bail in Washington for charges with the highest amount. In the case of more than one charge for a traffic violation, all security amounts must be paid for each charge.

This is why its a good idea to know how bail bonds work in Washington before you start signing bail contracts. You must know what you are signing and what responsibilities you have to the bondsman. You aren’t only giving the bondsman 10%, and never see that money again… you’re also liable and responsible for the ENTIRE bail amount if your friend or loved one skips bail.

You could also be liable for other charges associated with bringing the defendant (now called: “the fugitive”) back to justice. These fees could include office fees, bounty hunter fees, travel expenses, etc. Anything it cost out of pocket to the bondsman you’ll be obligated to pay.

What if I cannot pay the security amount?

If you or a loved one is unable to pay the security amount, you can use a bail bondsman. Your bondsman will need the following information about the defendant:

  • Full legal name
  • Birth date
  • Charges
  • Bond amount
  • Facility where the inmate is located
The bondsman will contact the local or county jail to find out the exact security amount. A co-signer will pay the bondsman a premium amount that is usually 10% of the security amount. Once the premium is paid, the bondsman will post the security bond. The Washington bail bonds agent will then be contacted when the security has been transferred, and the inmate will be released from jail to their family. This process may take an hour to a few hours depending on how busy and how large the jail is. When they are processing hundreds of people in a jail, things take time, so be patient. Your bail bondsman will call or text you when the defendant has been released.

If you are trying to find an inmate in Washington state, please check out Washington Jails List

Video: How Bail Bonds Work in Washington

Washington Bail Bonds Information



How does bail bonds work in Washington? In the state of Washington bail bonds are 10% of the total cost of the bail bond. After collecting fees, Washington bail bond agents make sure that the defendant goes to all scheduled court appearances or the bond is forfeited and the court will issue a warrant.

Need more information about how bail bonds work in Washington state? Visit http://www.dol.wa.gov/business/bailbonds/bbconsumer.html