Something went wrong.
You’re in jail.
Now you can’t get out unless you hand over a large amount of money to the court. But what happens if you don’t have that money? Will you be stuck in jail until your court date (which could take months or even years to arrive)?
Not quite. A bail bondsman can help you get out of jail so you can continue working, taking care of your children, or carrying out other necessary responsibilities in the comfort of your own home. However, this still requires some type of payment.
This might lead you to an important question: how much does a bail bond cost?
We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to make bail and how much you can expect to spend on it, so make sure you keep reading below.
How Much Does a Bail Bond Cost?
A bail bondsman will pay your bail for you, but that doesn’t mean they will do it for free. You will have to pay the bail bonds company fee for posting bail on your behalf. This amount is usually 15% in North Carolina.
However, you might be able to get a lower percentage rate than that. It depends on the specifics of your case, including:
- Your criminal history
- The nature of your crime
- Your character
- The total bail amount
You will also likely need a cosigner to sign the agreement with you. This cosigner will be responsible for paying the fee if you don’t. If you have a good-quality cosigner, your chances of getting a reduced percentage rate are higher than normal.
But how much money are we talking about, exactly?
Let’s say your total bail amount is $10,000. You’ll have to pay 15% of that amount to the bail bondsman, so you’ll end up paying $1,500 to get out of jail.
Minor crimes have much smaller bail amounts than this, so the fee will be much lower.
What If You Don’t Have the Money?
Even if you don’t have the money to cover the 15% fee, you should still talk to a bail bondsman. You might be able to use some of your personal property, such as a home or a vehicle, as collateral instead.
This isn’t always true. It depends on the company you work with and what type of payments they accept. That said, you might be able to work something out, especially if this is your first offense.
Will You Get Your Money Back After Your Court Case?
If you were to pay bail yourself directly to the court, you would get all your money back after your court case finishes (assuming you never missed a date). However, you would also have to pay the full amount of money by yourself, and most people can’t afford this.
A bail bondsman will pay this large amount of money in your place, but to protect themselves, they charge the 15% fee for security purposes. If you choose to go through a bail bondsman, you won’t get this money back, even if you’re proven innocent.
Is a Bail Bondsman Worth It?
This depends on your unique situation, but for most people, the answer is yes.
Although you won’t get your 15% payment back at the end of the court process, you won’t have to pass the time in jail. As mentioned above, most people don’t have enough money to pay for bail themselves. Because of this, going through a bail bondsman might be your only option.
Consider, for a moment, what would happen if you don’t get out of jail. You’ll miss work, meaning you suddenly won’t have an income. Your bills, on the other hand, will keep coming. Because of this, you can spiral into a financial disaster quickly.
You also may not have someone else to look after your kids. Staying in jail could put them in danger, so you’ll want to get out as fast as possible.
There are many other circumstances that can make staying in jail impossible. Unless you want to sacrifice a few days, weeks, months, or even years of your time, a bail bondsman is worth the cost.
Does Everyone Get Bail?
Before the court sets a bail amount for you, they will hold a bail hearing. During this hearing, the judge will examine the circumstances of your case and decide on an appropriate bail amount for you. Some of the factors that will play into the final determination include things like:
- Your criminal record
- The severity of your crime
- Your day-to-day responsibilities
- Your financial situation
- Your likelihood to flee
- The threat you pose to the rest of society
Some defendants who’ve committed serious crimes and pose a great threat to other people won’t get bail. In most cases, though, you should receive bail. From there, you can work with a bail bonds company to pay the required amount.
Paying Bail and Getting Out of Jail
So how much does a bail bond cost?
In general, you’ll have to pay about 15% of the total bail amount to get out of jail. This fee is often small and manageable (depending on your bail amount), and it gives you the ability to keep working and carrying out your other responsibilities while going through your court case.
Not sure where to find a reputable bail bondsman? Our team at Charlotte Bail Bonds, LLC can help you buy your freedom and get back to your life. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!