Trusted Affordable Bail Bonds
When posting a bond for yourself or a loved one, the primary concern is always protecting you or your loved one’s freedom during the legal process. However, for many individuals, posting bail is an unexpected expense and the finances can be a concern when working with a bail bond company. You might be wondering, can I afford to post bail? Here at Lederman, we want the action to be simple, so let’s break down the cost and affordability of bail bonds.
Determining the Cost of a Bail Bond
A couple of factors determine the cost of your bond, let’s examine them below.
Defendants are brought into the jail on new charges and warrants. If you are a new arrest, you will be booked into the jail and the charges that you received will normally have a bond amount. The bond amount is typically determined by a Bond Schedule. State supreme courts usually set the bond amount, but each county may have its own policies about bonding, most commonly for domestic assaults and alcohol-related charges.
Local Ties to the Community and Previous Criminal History
If you decide not to bond out at the time you are arrested, you will see a judge for an initial appearance. It is normally within 24 – 48 hours after the arrest. At the initial appearance, the Judge will determine if you still need a bond in order to be released based on your local ties to the community, and your previous criminal history. These two factors usually give the Judge enough information to determine if your bond needs to be set and at what amount. The Judge also has the power to release you on your own recognizance which usually happens in most misdemeanor cases.
Bond Reduction Hearings
If you are not able to post the bond amount because it’s either too much, or you do not have anyone on the outside willing to post your bond, your attorney can motion the court for a bond reduction hearing after 10 to 14 days in jail. At that time, your attorney will have more information to present to the court to see if your bond can be lowered. This is called a Bond Reduction or Review Hearing.
Fees When Posting Bail
For the bond itself, you or a loved one, will sign for the full amount of the bond and pay a premium to the bonding company. For example, let’s say the bond is $12,000. You, or a loved one, would sign an Indemnification Agreement for twelve thousand dollars. However, you would only pay a portion of the total bond as the bonding company’s non-refundable fee, called a premium. In the example of a $12,000 bond, you would pay roughly $1200. (Sometimes administrative or mileage costs may be added. Your exact premium will be communicated clearly and honestly before your bond is posted).
As long as the defendant goes to all of their court dates, you will only ever have to pay the upfront non-refundable premium. However, if the defendant did not go to court then the signer would legally be required to pay the full bond amount to the bonding company.