How Much Do I Pay For A Bail Bond?

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Last Updated on April 27, 2024 by DALA Staff Writer

Hiring a Bail Bondsman

Everyone has made mistakes in their lives but when those mistakes result in criminal behavior sometimes they can land us or someone we love behind bars. Typically when someone is charged with a crime, they are taken to an arraignment at a local courthouse where the judge can decide between several different courses of action. If the crime was serious and carries a stiffer punishment the judge may decide to keep the defendant incarcerated in a local or county jail in order to avoid a flight risk. However, by providing a sum of money as collateral the judge can then release the defendant on the veracity that the risk of losing a large amount of money will often provide. This is what is known as bail.

Why You Need a Bondsman

Bail can help us get out loved ones out of jail and back in our homes, but the more serious the infraction the larger the bail amount tends to be. It is not uncommon to see bail set in the range of $100,000. Most of us don’t have that kind of money lying around. Especially ready at the often random times arrests can occur. In these instances it is useful to seek out the services of a registered bail bondsman; who charges you a relatively smaller fee and posts the difference himself. Upon signing an agreement with a bail bondsman the court officially recognizes that he is now responsible for ensuring that the defendant is present at all future court dates. If he defaults he loses the bail money he posted.

What if My Loved One Misses their Court Date?

Due to the finical risk that the bondsman takes on behalf of the defendant, sates that allow bonds provide that the bondsman may legally pursue and detain any defendant he has taken responsibility for. He can either do this himself or hire a private contractor known as a bounty hunter. For these reason typically a bondsman will assess various fees which can include things like gas, lodgings, time etc. if the defendant does flee. However as long as the defendant is present at all future court dates the bondsman typically only assess a single charge based off of a percentage of the bail set by the judge.

How Much Money Will I Owe?

Although a bondsman can be an incredibly useful asset when securing the release of your loved one, you should take care to mind a few things before hiring one. First of all know the price you should be charged. States mandate the maximum percentage of bail that the bondsmen can charge you for their services. Bondsmen are licensed by the state within which they operate so you should only use a bondsman licensed in your state; be sure to ask to see their license before signing any documents. Most states mandate 10%, but several states go as high as 15% but it should never be more than that. If you are issued additional charges, have the bondsman explain them in detail. Make sure to read all contract documents carefully before agreeing to anything.

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Tom Adams is a guest blogger. His interest in bail bonds led him to the website in San Diego, CA.

DALA Staff Writer
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