When a person has been arrested and is awaiting trial, they will be given the chance to post bail. This means that they are free to leave custody until their trial date. However, a recent US Commission of Civil Rights report found that “more than 60% of defendants are detained pretrial because they can’t afford to post bail.”
One way in which this systemic issue can be tackled is through the use of a bail bond. In these cases, a bail bond agency or bondsman agrees to pay the fee to the court should the defendant not show up to trial. This way, instead of paying the entire bond amount, the defendant will pay a smaller premium to the agency.
How much do you pay for bail?
The amount you will have to pay for bail depends on numerous factors, including:
- If you are considered a flight risk
- Your criminal history
- The severity of the crime you’ve committed
The amount of bail you’ll have to pay will be determined by the judge presiding over your case and may also be bound to specific geographical regulations. For example, if you are arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor DUI in California, bail is typically set at $2,500 for a first offense and $10,000 for a second offense.
However, as mentioned above, if you work with a bail bond agent, the amount you’ll have to pay to post bail is lowered considerably. Instead, you’ll pay a small percentage of the original cost, typically 10%, depending on your location.
Understanding the Bail Agreement
When a defendant posts bail, they agree to attend any and all court dates relating to their trial. If they do not show up, the amount of money posted will not be returned, and they will likely face additional criminal charges. Beyond this, it’s unlikely they’ll be given the option to post bail again in the future. A bail bond agreement is much the same, though the bail bondsman put down the money, not the defendant themselves.
How Does a Bail Bond Work?
- The judge overseeing the trial puts up a bail amount based on the factors discussed above.
- The defendant or a friend/family member of the defendant reaches out to a local bail bond agent.
- Once they’ve discussed the case, a bail bond agent will locate the defendant and determine the bail cost.
- The bondsman will cover the full amount of the bail, and the defendant will be released while awaiting trial.
- The defendant will pay the premium.
The Costs of Bail Bonds
As mentioned previously, bail bonds are far less of a financial burden than paying the bail in full, especially as many people do not have that kind of cash lying around. As such, it’s a great way to ensure that defendants do not spend any unnecessary time in custody while they are awaiting a fair trial.
Many bail bond companies also tend to offer financing plans, making it easier to cover the costs of bail and bail bonds.
What percentage of Bail do you pay?
The amount of bail you’ll pay when working alongside a bail bond agent depends on which state you are based in, as they tend to have different regulations regarding how much of a premium can be charged.
It’s illegal to charge a premium greater than 10% of the bail amount by California Law. As such, if your original bail amount was $25,000, you’ll pay just $2,500 when working with a bondsman.
How much does a Bail Bondsman charge?
Many rules and regulations are in place to ensure that bail bond companies do not charge unfair premiums to people who may be desperate. This ensures that the practice remains as fair as possible and that you can post bail without landing yourself (or those close to you) in financial trouble.
However, the exact cost of your bail bond will depend upon the price the judge set.
The Truth About Bail Bond Cost
When you or someone you care about has been arrested, the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether or not you can afford to post bail – which is why the bail bond system exists. It can help relieve some of the stress you are experiencing during this time and make it easier to post bail.
If you’d like to learn more about Bail Bonds with Balboa Bail Bonds, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. We’d be happy to talk you through the bail process or answer any questions you may have.