Bail Costs

Bail Costs in California

In the state of California, the bail bond industry is heavily regulated. A bail bond is normally 10% and is mandated by California law, and set by the California Department of Insurance. The bail fee is a percentage of the total amount of bail, and non-refundable.

California bail bondsmen, and bail bond companies, must be licensed by the California Department of Insurance, and are legally permitted to assist those in need of a bail bond to release a defendant from jail. A 10% premium is usually paid up front, however, there may be exceptions for those deemed credit worthy. When choosing to use a bail bondsman, or bail bond company, make sure they are fully licensed. Keep in mind that any bail bond company who is offering 5% bail bond fees, are violating California Law, and therefore acting illegally. If you have any doubts about a bail bond agency, check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure your chosen company is both legal, and reputable.

Some bail bond agencies will require collateral as surety that the defendant will indeed appear in court. This can be in the form of cash, or real estate. All bail bond companies must return the collateral, once the case has been completed.

Payments for bail bonds are normally made prior to the defendant’s release. There are many forms of payment that can be accepted, so it is always best to inquire from your chosen bail bond company about your options.  Some companies will allow you to enter in to a payment plan, which will take some of the financial stress off having to find it all at once.

If qualifying for a payment plan, the co-signer is also known as the indemnitor. This person will be taking responsibility for the defendant, and ensuring they appear at schedule court dates, or they will be in the position of being responsible to pay for the entire bail.