24-Hour Bail Bonds – Anytime, Any Jail – Serving all of SC

Call us now at (843) 554-2005

24-Hour Bail Bonds – Anytime, Any Jail – Serving all of SC

Call us now at (843) 554-2005

How much does a bail bond cost?

One of the first questions we hear from our customers is how much does a bail bond cost? Bailing someone out of jail isn’t something most people do every day and it isn’t something you plan for.

In this article we’ll break down the costs of a bail bond. We’ll also cover payment methods and any collateral you’ll need to use to secure your bond.

If you aren’t familiar with the bail bond process take a few minutes and read about what you should know before calling a bondsman.

The bail bond fee

So how much does a bail bond cost? Good news, if the person arrested shows up to court the answer is pretty simple. The bail bond fee, also known as the bond premium, is a non-refundable fee you pay to the bail bondsman.

By posting the full bail amount for you the bail agent is taking a financial risk. To compensate for that risk you pay the bondsman a small percentage of the total bail amount. Think of it as interest on a loan that you pay up front.

What percentage do you pay up front? You might think that the bail premium would be different from company to company. This actually isn’t true. While there might be small differences, bail premiums are actually regulated by the government. This leads to most bail premiums being the same no matter which bail agent you choose.

For example in South Carolina the bail premium is almost always 10% of the total bail amount. If your bond is set at $5,000 you can expect to pay a non-refundable bail bond fee of around $500. If the defendant shows up for court that is the end of the transaction.

Using personal property as collateral

In the above example you pay the bail bond premium of 10%. The transaction ends when the defendant shows up for court. The bond court will return the full bail amount to the bail bondsman and there is no longer any risk involved.

But what happens if the defendant doesn’t show up for court? In this situation the bail bondsman would lose the other 90% of the bail amount that they paid for you. That’s a big risk for the bail agent!

To offset this risk a bail bondsman will do a few things. The most famous (but least used method) is to use a bail enforcement agent. The bail enforcement agent – a.k.a. a bounty hunter – makes sure the defendant gets to court on time. This makes a good T.V. show but in reality isn’t the bond agent’s first move.

Instead when you hire a bail agent they will ask you to use some personal property as a guarantee of payment. This property could be a mortgage, car title, or an investment account among other things. How much of a guarantee the agent needs depends on the bail amount.

When calculating how much a bail bond costs it is important to note the risk involved. Once you agree to use your personal property as a guarantee you are then responsible for the defendant showing up for court.

Payment options

There are many different payment options for paying your bail premium. A good bail bondsman is flexible and will work with you to find an option that works for you.

While “zero down” bail bonds are possible they are uncommon. What is more common is for the bail agent to agree to a payment plan. This plan will let you pay some of the bail premium up front and then make further payments over time. Payment plans are always set on a case-by-case basis. They are very common so don’t hesitate to ask you bonding agent.

Conclusion: The premium is set but collateral and payment options can vary

So how much does a bail bond cost? As we covered above the state government regulates the bail bond fee. This means that the actual percentage of the bond you pay doesn’t vary much if at all from agent to agent.

What does change is the amount of personal property used as a guarantee and your payment options. The best bail bond agents are flexible and are happy to work with your individual situation. When shopping for a bail bond ask about collateral and payment options to find the bondsman that is right for you.

If you have any questions about bail bond costs or anything to do with the bail process feel free to call us anytime.

Sometimes good people make bad decisions