How Much Do Bail Bonds Cost?

If you’re looking for bond coverage to secure the release of someone who’s been arraigned, understanding the cost models used by bond companies is important. Unlike cash bail, bonds require you to pay a non-refundable fee to a company that underwrites the cost of the release. Depending on the conditions set on release by the judge, the cost of the bond could vary a bit. Typically, bondsmen price services as a percentage of the total bond cost, with some of the more high-volume companies offering financing options to help break up the expense of bonds that still require a big service charge. So what percentage should you expect to pay? It’s hard to predict exactly because of the varying additional requirements that could add expenses, but most of the time it’s safe to bet on the cost being about ten percent of the total bond value.

How Are Service Fees Decided?

The rough rule of thumb about the fair percentage for a bond cost is longstanding, and it’s hard to say exactly how it came about. The interests of the courts and bond companies alike favor accessible pricing, especially in an era where bonds in excess of $5000 are common for some crimes. At the same time, a bond is essentially a short-term loan, which means the bond company is performing a risk management calculation whenever they issue a bond. If a defendant seems like an excessive risk compared to the average, you might find that a higher risk bond requires a larger fee to mitigate that risk. First-timers needing bail bonds Harrisburg PA can generally count on the rule of thumb about 10% though.

What Risks Do Bond Companies Take On?

In the event that a defendant fails to make court appearances, the bond company takes the same risk of loss that you would if you put up cash bail. The difference is, they have the ability to perform compliance management by seeking out the defendant and providing an escort to the hearing or trial. Those services cost money, though, so even if the cost of the bond is recovered, the service fees need to be able to cover the additional expenses involved. Luckily, it takes a lot for a defendant to be considered a high risk to the bond company. For those facing first-time charges, it’s unlikely. It tends to be those whose history includes a tendency to avoid court appearances, who can be predictably relied on to be less than responsible in the future because of it. Still, with the right budget, you should find a bond with no problem, no matter who is being covered.