Bail is designed to guarantee your appearance in court. Unless charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment, and the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great, every person charged with a crime or violation of municipal or county ordinances shall be entitled to pretrial release on reasonable conditions. If no conditions of release can reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to persons, assure your presence at trial or assure the integrity of the judicial process, you may be denied pretrial release. The court will require that a specific amount of money be deposited with the clerk of the court or sheriff to satisfy bail[1]. Sometimes the court allows a deposit of a bond or title to a vehicle or home. Most bonds are eligible to be posted by a bondsman. Typically, a bondsman will charge 10% of the total bond fee. For example, if a $5,000 cash or professional bond is set, you would have the option of either posting the full $5,000 in cash, which would be placed in the court registry, or you could pay a bondsman $500. In either case you would be bonded out of jail. Usually a member of the family must get the money, give the money to the clerk or sheriff and then show the receipt in order to get you released. Private bail bondspersons can be called from the jail[2]Money paid to a bondsman will not be given back to you at the end of your case; it is considered the fee for the bondsman.  It is basically how the bondsman makes a living.  If you deposit a cash bond into the Court registry, that money, minus any court costs or fees (if you enter a plea or are found guilty), will be returned to you at the close of your case. If you fail to appear in court for your court dates, an arrest warrant will be issued and your bond will be forfeited.

[1] Chapter 903, Fla. Stat.

[2] Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.131