We are not attorneys and do not offer legal advice. If you are facing criminal charges we suggest you talk to a professional attorney.
Los Angeles County Jail Bail
If you are arrested for a crime in Los Angeles County you may be taken straight to jail until your trial. If the judge doesn't feel that you are a flight risk you may be granted bail - the right to go free until your trial with a cash (or security) deposit.
If, for instance, your bail is set at $10,000 you must guarantee the court that you will pay $10,000 if you don't show up for your trial. If you don't have access to that kind of cash (or equity) a bail bondsmen will guarantee your bail for a percentage of your bail down (which will not be refunded). Ten percent is a common percentage for a bail bondsman.
So, in this hypothetical case, you would pay a bail bondsman $1,000 to guarantee the court that you will show up for your court appearance. If you show up the bail bondsman keeps your $1,000 as his profit - this is how they make money. If you flee before your court appearance the bondsman must pay the court $10,000 - they will usually hire a bounty hunter to hunt you down so they can get their money back.
Because the bail bonds agents are taking on a significant risk they will interview you first and determine how likely they think it is that you will run - they can choose to either bond you or not.