If you are charged with a crime, the judge may set bail for you. If that bail amount is too high for you to pay on your own, you may need to learn about bail bonds. These can help you stay out of jail while you wait for your trial date. Your York County, PA criminal defense attorney can tell you more about how these work.
How Much Do You Pay on Bail Bonds?
When defendants use bail bonds, they do not have to pay the entire set bail amount. Instead, the defendant pays around 10 percent of the total bail. Then a bail bondsman and their company take on the rest of the bail amount. This is not done out of their good graces though. They are running a business here.
This means that they will need collateral from you, a family member, or a friend who is willing to put it up. They are also likely to charge you additional fees. So you do not have to pay the entire bail amount, but there are still some significant costs involved.
What Can Be Used as Collateral for a Bail Bond?
As we mentioned, bail bonds also require some collateral. A bail bondsman wants to ensure that they are actually going to get their money back at some point. They can either get their money back because you have attended your court dates, or they can sell off the collateral you have handed over to them if you defy the court. Which method gets chosen is up to you.
Bail bondsmen are generally not too picky about what kind of collateral they will accept. Real estate and houses are commonly put up in cases with a high bail requirement, but defendants can also use jewelry, stocks, bonds, and other investments and valuables.
How Are the Amounts of Bail Bonds Set?
Of course, how much you end up paying and how much collateral is needed depends on how much the bail bonds cost. Their pricing is influenced by a few things. First, we have the judge who sets the amount of bail. They look at your criminal history, your current charge, and your potential danger to society if released. Then they set a bail amount.
Then the bail bondsman can ask for 10% of that and charge you fees. How much you pay in fees is really determined by their policies.
Do I Get Back All of My Money When I Attend My Court Dates?
You might have heard that bail gets paid back when you attend all of your court dates and are found not guilty of the charges. This does not apply when you use bail bonds though. You do get your collateral back from them, but that 10 percent you put down to get out of jail will not be returned to you.
Talk to Our Legal Team
If you are facing criminal charges, contact Ilkhanoff & Silverstein. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about your legal options. We are ready to help you build the most effective defense possible.