The terms "bail" and "bail bond" are often used interchangeably. Bail and bail bond services exist so you can be released from jail after you have been arrested and the court has set bail. However, a bail bond service might be required.
Bail refers to the total amount of money you owe. In some cases, you might not be offered bail; in others, you may receive a cash-free bail. However, if the state sets a cash bail, you may be required to pay a specific amount to be released.
You Will Be Paid Back
Bail is not a fee. Instead, the US government will hold onto the bail until you meet specific obligations, such as attending your scheduled court appearances. If you fail to meet these obligations, you might then be placed under arrest and will forfeit the bail. However, if you attend all required court appearances, you'll receive the bail amount back.
Understanding Bail Bond Services
A bail bond service is offered by a company as a loan. The individual seeking to finance bail must pay a portion, typically a percentage of the bail. For instance, if the bail amount is 50,000 and you must pay 10%, you would owe $5,000. The bail bond service would pay the remaining amount.
The Advantages of Bail Bond Services
The advantage of a bail bond service is that you could post bail that would otherwise be impossible if you had limited resources. Some bail bond services require collateral, while others offer signature bonds. With the latter, your credit score will cover your bail bond service.
How to Lower the Cost
One way to make a bail bond service more affordable is to reduce the bail amount. The judge sets the bail amount based on various criteria, such as your flight risk, ties to the community, the severity of your crime, your past criminal history, and whether you have a strong case.
If your bail amount is lower, the bail bond service will also cost less because the fee is based on a percentage of the total bail amount. The state usually sets this percentage. Therefore the only way to reduce the price typically is to have a lower bail amount in total. If you can lower the bail amount enough, you may even be able to post bail and avoid the bail bond fee.
For more information, contact a bail bondsman near you.