When the police arrest someone and they contact a surety bail bond agent for assistance in paying their bond, there is a cost or premium for the bondsman's service. You must pay this non-refundable amount in exchange for the bail bond agency posting the bond. While most assume this amount is 10% of the bond, this is not always the case. There are times the bond premium may be much higher than this. Several factors determine this increased amount. Here are a few of them.
The state where you need the bond posted can determine how much the bail bond agency charges you. Premiums can range from at least 6.5% in Florida to 20% in Utah. Numerous states have no maximum amount set, and other states, such as Kentucky, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, do not allow private bail.
Each time a surety bail bondsman signs for a bond, they are taking a risk on an unknown person complying with an agreement to appear in court. Unfortunately, if the person fails to appear, the bondsman can be liable for thousands or even hundreds of thousands.
The court usually gives the bondsman a limited amount of time to find the defendant and get them back to jail. If they cannot find the defendant, they must notify the court and send certified funds for the total bond amount. The bond company will then attempt to recoup its money from the bond co-signer.
One of the most significant factors determining the amount of premium you pay a surety bail bondsman is the risk the defendant poses for the bond agency. Some risks indicators are as follows:
- Prior failure to show
- Lack of family connections
- Lack of contact methods
People exhibiting these risk factors are very different from someone employed, who owns a home, has a family, and can provide numerous contact methods. In some cases, if the bondsman deems the risk too high, they may deny or turn down the bond.
Current and prior charges can also impact the amount of the bond premium. Offenders with a long list of prior arrests have a higher chance of reoffending and returning to jail. The increased likelihood of reoffending poses a higher risk to the bail bond company of the offender not showing up for court.
When speaking with a surety bail bondsman service such as A Professional Bail Bonds, ask them for their terms and conditions before co-signing a bond.