Bail bonds are one of the most important words you’ll hear, if you’re ever arrested. Hiring a bail bondsman can mean the difference between spending days, or even months, in jail — or not! Bail bonds are typically given in instances where you’re arrested, and the court wants some form of collateral in order to let you go. While you may not be convicted yet, they want some form of guarantee that if they let you go, you’ll come to all the court proceedings, and do not disappear.
Typically, the bail will vary, depending on how extreme the crime you’ve done is, and how big of a flight risk you’re deemed. For example, if you’ve done a petty crime, your bail may only be a few thousand dollars. But, if you’re accused of manslaughter, etc, your bail may be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. When this type of situation occurs, a bail bondsman can help pay the bail, in exchange for some form of collateral from you.
Typically, the bail bondsman, will ask you to pay him a % of the bond. For example, on a $200,000 bond, you may be asked to pay $20-$50,000. If you don’t have enough money, a bail bondsman may ask for other forms of collateral, for example if you’re house is worth $300,000, they may put a lien on the house in order to secure collateral in exchange for the bail bond.
Typically, the fee you have given will be returned at a later point (when the bond is no longer needed). At this juncture, the bail bondsman will charge you interest, on the bail bond. This interest is a set fee, and will be for the duration of the bail bond. For example, on a $200,000 bail bond, you may end up paying $5-$10,000 in interest fees. It all depends on how much you’re borrowing. The good news, is that the interest doesn’t keep accruing on a monthly basis, like other loans. This is a “hard fee” that caps off.