What is the cost of a bail bond and is that cost refundable?
The cost of a bail bond in California is regulated by the California Department of Insurance.
Our insurance companies file rates with the Department of Insurance. In California it is ten percent of the bail bond. However there is the ability of when certain factors are met to have the premium drop to as low as eight percent. So the cost is just like car insurance, house insurance, or life insurance. You pay an insurance premium to those insurance agents. Well we’re insurance agents as well. So the cost of a bail bond, on let’s just talk about it. The standard rate is ten percent. So if the bail is set at twenty-five thousand dollars you would pay a bail bondsman two thousand five hundred dollars. That’s an insurance premium. One of the things that we do at Greg Padilla Bail Bonds, is we go through every stitch every line of the contract, so that you understand it before you leave our office or you ever do business with us. And one of the things that we go over time and time again is this: the premium for the bail bond is fully earned upon the release of the defendant from jail the fact that he may have been improperly arrested bail reduced and or if his case is dismissed, shall not obligate return of any portion of said premium. So that fee is earned by us. That’s how we operate and stay in business and that’s how we get paid for taking the risk we do when we bail people out of jail.
So no, the insurance premium is not refundable. Often times it’s unfortunate that we bail people out of jail and then they go to court and the DA decides not to file charges. Well that’s very fortunate. I mean one should be absolutely thrilled about it. However, often times they look at us as though we’re the enemy… as though we ripped them off. Well first and foremost we in the bail industry don’t set the bail amount. Bail amounts are set by a bail schedule that each jail has throughout California. Those are set by judges. We don’t set that. And then secondly, we don’t know if the person that they’re going to file charges or not. I guess one could say, I mean… and I hate to be sarcastic, but I mean would you rather have them file charges so you can get your money’s worth? And in really and truly often times we have to say that to people because I say when we bailed you out, we explained this about the insurance premium. And now that they haven’t file charges it is very fortunate and unfortunate. But I think to the latter it’s very fortunate that they didn’t file charges. And you know with regard to whether they file charges or not. The fact of the matter is it’s it’s not determined that you’re guilty or innocent it. is that the district attorney has decided that this case may not be prosecutable to the extent that they could get a conviction in trial. They’re certainly not saying everybody’s innocent or they were wrongfully arrested if they decide not to file charges. That’s not what they’re saying .They’re just saying we don’t know if we could get a conviction with the evidence and the witnesses we have. So you know to that extent, a bail bond is it is a very good and necessary part of the criminal justice system because it keeps the wheels of justice turning. It helps people get out of jail while they’re going to court.
So that’s that’s how that works as far as a financial end of a bail bond.