Categories: Law

How Does Paying Bail Work? The Things You Need to Know About Bail Bonds

March 17, 2021

Bail is often more expensive than you might think. Unfortunately, many defendants have trouble posting bail on their own. This is why bail bonds companies exist, and why so many defendants choose to seek them out. If you’re in a position that requires you to get a bail bond, it’s generally a good idea to keep a few pieces of information in mind.

What Are Bail Bonds?

Bail bonds are a type of bond provided through a bail bonds company or agent that can help an individual to post bail when they would otherwise not be able to afford to do so on their own. It’s possible to think of bail bonds as a kind of short-term loan for which an individual pays an upfront fee and then will not have to pay back so long as they show up to their court date.

Set Fees

There are usually limits set for bail bonds fees. Though these limits are set by each state individually, it’s usually safe to say that a bond company will require an individual to pay about ten percent of the total bail amount up front to secure a bail bond. This is the amount of money that the bail bonds company will keep even after the court appearance and thus works as the primary form of funding for most bail bond companies.

Backed by Collateral

Though bail bond companies usually charge an up-front fee of about ten percent, most companies also require the person who pays for the bond to put up some form of collateral. The reasoning behind this is actually fairly simple. The collateral helps to ensure that the bond company won’t be out the rest of the bail money if you fail to report to your trial date.

Temporary Arrangement

A bail bond is not a permanent arrangement. It only lasts until your court date. If you attend your court date as directed, the bond is dissolved and the bail company walks away with its fee. If you do not go to court, the bond company will use the collateral collected for the bond to pay off any remaining bail amount.

Bail bonds are incredibly useful for those who cannot afford to post bail for themselves. Though they do have fees associated with them, they are often the only way that many defendants can avoid staying in jail until their trial. Those who take out bail bonds should always remember that doing so comes with a price, but that the price is much lower when they honor their commitments and go to their court dates.

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