Bail bond companies exist to ensure that those who have fallen on hard times and are arrested, are able to be released from county jail while they await trial. Sometimes, the time between being arrested and a case actually being trialed, can take as long as several years. Those who are unable to pay for their bail would then have to spend all that time in a county jail, which would be unfair, particularly if they were proven later to be innocent. While this certainly happens, bail bondsmen are there to help them avoid that situation. This then leads to people asking how much does a bail bond cost.
How Much Does A Bail Bond Cost?
A bail is set in court as a way to ensure that people charged with a crime will not run from the law, as they would be out of pocket by too much. With the bail serving as a deterrent, it is often likely that the amount is more than the defendants can afford, and they may not have any friends or family members who can pay for it instead. This is where a bail bondsman comes in, who will usually charge a fee of 10% of the original bail amount.
You do have to make sure that you choose a reputable bondsman. If you see someone who promises to charge you much less, or to give you some sort of discount, it may be tempting to opt for them. However, they would actually be breaking the law, as they are strictly governed under federal guidelines. Instead, you should take a look at their experience, their license status, and whether they have a financing option for you to pay for their fee. Do also check whether or not they need a collateral for your bail.
The license is the most important thing to look into. This is something that you can check with your local courts or with your insurance license state department. It is vital that you do this, or the person whom you are trying to get a bail for will end up remaining in jail, despite your payment. If they do offer financing options, you also have to look into that. A good bail bondsman will accept a wealth of payment options, including credit cards, checks, and cash. Some will also come to an arrangement with you if you are unable to pay their 10% fee upfront.
Another thing to look into is whether or not the bondsman is available round the clock. Arrests can happen at any time, as can initial court appearances and bail hearings. When someone is in the stressful situation of being incarcerated, you don't really want to tell them that they have to wait until after the weekend before they can get some help!
So how much does a bail bond cost? The average going rate is 10% of the total bail amount. Hence, the actual cost will depend on the bail that has been set. If you do come to some sort of payment arrangement for that 10%, it is likely that you will also be charged interest. This means that it could end up slightly more expensive than just the 10%.