When the police arrest you for a criminal offense, you will likely end up in jail. You can secure a prompt release from custody by posting bail. Bail is money you deposit with the court to be released from jail awaiting trial. You can post the bail money in cash or through a bail bondsman. The bail figure can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Most people do not have sufficient money to post a cash bail. This is where a bail bond company comes, posts bail on your behalf and guarantees the court that you will attend all the court hearings. In exchange for posting bail on your behalf, you or your cosigner pays a fee to the bail bondsman. This fee is known as a bail bond premium.
Understanding The Terms of a Bail Bond Contract
A bail bondsman comes in when you cannot afford to post a cash bail or a property bond, and the court does not grant an own recognizance release. Sometimes, the bondsman can request bail bond collateral. Bail bond collateral can include real estate, a car, or any other valuable item. It is crucial to honor all the court hearings and pay the bail bond premium to avoid harsh consequences. Before you agree and sign the bail bond contract, you should understand all the terms and conditions.
If you cannot afford to pay the entire bail bond premium at once, find out if the bail bond agency has some repayment plans. Discuss with your bail bondsman before you sign the contract. Discuss your financial situation so that the bondsman can know how much you can afford to pay.
If you are unwilling to post bail, you will remain in jail after your arrest until the court resolves your case. Staying in jail can be frustrating, especially if you do not have money to secure your release. Every case is unique. The time you remain in jail until the conclusion of your case differs. Therefore, you could stay in jail for weeks, months, and sometimes years if you do not post bail. The good news is that having you or your loved one walk out of jail does not require you to have money.
Bail Bond Premium
Before delving into the consequences of failing to pay the bail bond premium, it is essential to ensure that you understand what a bail bond premium is. Most people confuse bail bond premium with bail bond amount, but the two differ. A bond premium is a charge payable to the bail bond agency. The amount is remitted to the company in exchange for its services of bailing a defendant out of custody. A bail bond premium is not refundable. However, it is more affordable than posting the whole bail bond amount since it is a fraction of the bail figure, usually 10% of the amount.
Bail Bond Amount Vs. Bail Bond Premium
Bail amount and bail bond premium are two distinct but related terms. The bail amount is the figure the judge sets, which the defendant must pay to be released from custody. You or your loved one is released from jail when you pay it. Even if the defendant is no longer in jail, their case is still in progress. Therefore, the defendant must continue making court appearances until the conclusion of their case. While out of jail, the defendant will not be under the constant supervision of the law enforcement officers. The court needs assurance that the defendant will attend all the required hearings. The bail amount serves as an assurance to the court that the defendant will attend all the hearings.
Usually, the amount the judge sets is high. However, the judge cannot set an excessive bail amount or use bail as punishment. If the defendant pays bail out-of-pocket, the amount is refunded when the case is concluded, provided the defendant attends the court hearings. A high bail figure serves as an incentive to attend the court hearings to avoid losing the money.
The bail amount could range from a few thousand to thousands. Most people have no access to this kind of money. Trying to post bail out of pocket can take a significant financial toll on them. You can forgo paying the bail amount by posting a bail bond through a bail bondsman. The bail bond agency will charge you a premium to post bail on your behalf. The bond assures that the defendant will honor the set court appearances. If the defendant does not attend the court hearing, the bail bond agency will ensure the bail amount is paid in full.
What a Bail Bond Premium Covers
A bail bond premium serves as the bail bond company's fees. When you agree to pay the bail bond premium, the bondsman commences having you or your loved one out of jail. You can pay the total premium upfront or arrange a payment plan. The bondsman will prepare the necessary documentation and post a bond with the court. The bondsman will be available to answer all your questions and help you understand your responsibilities after release from custody.
The bail bond premium is not the only cost of getting out of jail. You could incur additional costs, including fines, court fees, and restitution. Understanding all the costs associated with getting out of custody is crucial.
Bail Bond Premium Is Cheaper Than Bail Amount
While the bail amount can be thousands of dollars, a bail bond premium is only a fraction of that. Bail bond companies cannot charge more than a 10% premium for their services. Therefore, if the court sets the bail figure at $15,000, the maximum premium you can pay is $1,500 plus other applicable fees. Some bail bond agencies offer discounts, meaning the premium could be as low as 8%.
A bail bond agency earns a premium for providing its services. The premium helps the company to cover its business-related costs. Therefore, a bail bond premium is not refundable. The amount will not be refunded, irrespective of the outcome of your case. The bail bond premium is not refundable whether the court drops the charges against the defendant or finds the defendant guilty.
Violating The Bail Bond Premium Payment Agreement
When posting a surety bond, you agree with the bail bondsman. After signing a contract with the bail bond company and having you or your loved one out of custody, you must adhere to the terms of the release order. You must also attend all the scheduled court hearings. What happens when you fail to pay the bail bond premium?
A Warrant Of Re-arrest
The bondsman can report you to the police for failing to pay the bail bond premium. Violating the terms of the bail bond agreement can qualify as forfeiting the bail bond. The law allows the bondsman to hire bounty hunters to track you and place you back in custody. A re-arrest could mean additional fees and a more extended stay in jail.
Immediate Financial Impact
Failing to pay the bail bond fee can result in severe financial repercussions. The bail bond company can pursue legal action to seek payment from you. Besides commencing legal action, the agency can also employ collection agencies.
Impact On The Defendant
The defendant could face severe consequences even after being released on bail. If the defendant or their cosigner fails to pay the premium, the agency can choose to revoke the bond. This could lead to an immediate arrest and a return to custody.
Failing to pay the bail bond premium could lead to bail revocation. If the court revokes the bail, the bail bondsman must pay the entire bail amount. This amount could be thousands of dollars. The law allows the bondsman to take you or the person who posted bail on your behalf to court to collect the payment. The bail bond can also sue you over delinquent payments.
The sole goal of a bail bondsman is to help you, not to chase down payments. However, if you violate the payment agreement, the bondsman must pursue you because the payments are essential. If you want to avoid unnecessary drama with your bail bond agency, it is best to adhere to the initial payment agreement.
Any Collateral Offered Can Be Confiscated And Liquidated
Your bondsman could have requested bail bond collateral when seeking a bail bond. If you fail to make payments, you sign a contract allowing the bondsman to dispose of the collateral. The collateral can include real estate property, a vehicle, or jewelry. The bondsman can seize the collateral if you do not adhere to the terms of the contract, including defaulting on your bail bond premium payment. Therefore, failing to pay the premium could lead to the loss of property offered as collateral.
The Person Who Posted Bail On Your Behalf Becomes Responsible For The Bail Amount
If you fail to pay the bail bond premium and bail forfeiture results, the person who posted bail on your behalf could be responsible for the entire bail amount.
Failing to pay the bail bond premium is not just violating the contract between you and the bondsman. It could also be a failure to comply with the court conditions. The non-compliance can result in additional legal complications.
Credit Score Implications
The non-payment of the bail bond premium can also hurt your credit score. The bail bond company can report the debt or forward your details to the credit bureaus. This could hurt your credit rating.
Damage To Your Reputation
Defending your financial obligation to pay the bail bond premium could damage your reputation. A tainted reputation could make it challenging to access loans or credit in the future. You could experience long-term repercussions for your financial well-being.
How To Navigate The Bail Bond Premium Payment
You can employ several strategies to navigate the bail bond premium payment:
Understand Your Bail Bond Agreement
Before you accept the services of a bail bondsman, it is crucial to ensure that you understand all the terms of the agreement. This way, you can avoid surprises when paying the bail bond premium. Ensure you know the applicable fees, payment schedules, and additional fees.
Constant Communication With The Bail Bondsman
If you have difficulty paying the bail bond premium, discussing your situation with your bail bondsman is best. Your bondsman could be willing to offer you an affordable payment plan that suits your financial capabilities. Many bail bond companies are eager to work with clients to agree on a payment plan that fits the client's budget. Negotiating a payment plan with your bondsman can help avoid a bail bond premium payment default.
Seek Financial Assistance
If you are struggling with your bail bond premium payment, several charities and organizations offer financial assistance to people who cannot afford bail. You can consider reaching out to these financial institutions.
Use a Cosigner
You can also use a family member or friend willing to cosign a bail bond and help you pay the bail bond premium.
Making timely payments to the bail bondsman is the best way to avoid future complications. Timely payment of the bail bond premium ensures the defendant maintains their freedom. It also helps you maintain the right legal and financial standing.
Bail Bond Premium Payment Options
When paying bail bond premiums, you can explore several payment options. Understanding the different payment options is crucial to helping you explore the ones that suit you best. Below are the various payment options for bail bond premiums:
The conventional method of paying bail bond premiums is by using cash. It is the most straightforward method that typically requires you to pay the whole amount upfront. This method is ideal if you have access to cash and can afford to pay the entire premium without financial strain.
What happens if you do not have enough money to pay the bail bond premium in cash?
You can explore a payment plan if you cannot pay the total premium upfront. With a payment plan, you can pay the premium in installments over a defined period. Depending on the bail bond company and its policies, the installment period could be up to one year. However, it is crucial to note that a repayment plan will probably come with an interest rate, meaning you will pay a slightly higher amount.
When exploring bail bond premium payment plans, choosing a plan that suits your financial capability is crucial. Consider the repayment period, the applicable interest rates, and the eligibility criteria. If you cannot afford to pay the total bail bond premium upfront, exploring a payment plan or collateral payment is best. Discuss with your bail bondsman to find out the available options.
Credit Card Payment
Using credit cards to pay the bail bond premium is becoming increasingly popular. This is a convenient method of paying bail premiums that allows you to avoid financial strain. However, you should know that using a credit card to pay the bail premium can attract high interest rates. You could end up paying a higher amount in the long run.
A collateral payment entails using an asset to guarantee the premium amount. The assets that you can use include property, vehicles, and jewelry. This option is ideal if you do not have immediate access to cash or a credit card. However, it is crucial to note that the bail bond company can seize the property you pledged as collateral if you do not pay the premium.
Sometimes, you can access government assistance to help you pay bail bond premiums. You should explore to find out if you can access government programs that offer financial assistance to people who cannot pay bail bond premiums. Most government assistance programs have stringent eligibility criteria. It could take an extended time for you to access the funds.
Whether You Can Negotiate A Bail Bond Premium
There are several misconceptions regarding bail bond premiums. One common misconception is that you can negotiate the premium with your bondsman. While you can negotiate certain aspects of your bail bond agreement, the premium is usually non-negotiable for most bail bond companies.
However, different bail bond companies can charge different premiums depending on their discount policy. A common misconception is that all bail bondsmen charge the same premium. Premiums can vary depending on the bail bond agency. Before choosing a bondsman, you can shop around and compare prices. However, you should not select a bondsman based solely on the premium charged. It is best to choose a bondsman based on the quality of their services rather than their pricing.
Find an Experienced Bail Bondsman Near Me
If you or your loved one faces an arrest in Temecula and need a reliable bondsman with affordable bail bond premiums, contact Justice Bail Bonds. For decades, we have provided prompt and affordable bail bond services. Contact us at 714-541-1155 to speak to one of our bondsmen.