Bail Bondio

Bail Bond Reduction

Traditional Payment of a Bail Bond
Traditionally, a bail bondsmen will charge a 10% fee for a bail bond. This fee is non-refundable, the bondsmen retains the fee for his services.

For example, for a $10,000 bail, the bondsmen would receive $1,000. In return for the fee, the bondsman gives the court a "surety bond" for $10,000. As long as all court appearances are made, the bond will be returned. However, if the defendant does not show for a court appearance, the bondsmen must pay the court the amount of the bond, in this case $10,000.

Some Bondsmen will also require collateral, in addition to 10% fee. Collateral can be land, a house, a business, stocks or bonds, a life insurance policy, a vehicle, jewelry or even cash. Collateral is returned to the defendant at the end of the case.

If the defendant fails to appear for court or tries to run, the bondsmen and his recovery agent, the bounty hunter, can arrest and detain the defendant and then turn him over to the authorities.

Most bondsmen also charge an additional fee 10% fee for each year they have to renew the surety bond. Thus, if the case goes on for more than one year, the defendant will need to pay another 10% on the original bail bond.

How to get the Fee Reduced
There are ways to get the 10% fee reduced, sometimes even as low as 8%. This often happens if the bail is very large. However, the fee can also be reduced if the defendant has a private attorney or is a union member.

The defendant should always be sure the bondsmen is licensed in the state. If a bondsmen offers less than 8%, he may not be licensed in the state. In this case, the bondsmen may not pay the bail. This is why it is very important to make sure the bondsmen is licensed.

Other Ways to Save Money
If a defendant has the bail money on hand or has friends and family who can come up with the money, it is a good option to not use a bail bondsmen. With a bondsmen, the 10% fee is non-refundable. However, if the defendant puts forth the money on his own, the court returns the entire amount at the conclusion of the case, provided he shows for all required court appearances.

Another way for the defendant to lower fees and the bail is to talk to his attorney. In the initial discussion with his attorney, the defendant should ask if the lawyer thinks the judge will reduce the bail. If the lawyer is able to reduce the bail, the fee to the bondsmen will be lower.

For example, if the original bail is $100,000, the bondsmen's fee would likely be $10,000. However, if the defense attorney is able to reduce the bail to $50,000, the new bondsmen's fee will be $5,000; thus saving the defendant $5,000 in fees.

The downside to this is the defendant will have to spend more time in jail waiting to be bailed out. However, the couple days are likely worth the thousands of dollars for some people. Other people will want to get out immediately so the extra fee is worth it to them. Waiting and saving versus not waiting and getting out of jail sooner depends on the defendant's preference.

Other resources
How do bail bonds work
Difference Between Bail and Bond
Bail Bond Rules