Political experts claim that over 450,000 Americans are in jail not because they have been convicted but because they cannot afford to pay bail. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can secure a bail bond instead of paying the full bail amount in cash.
A bail bond is money or property posted on a defendant’s behalf, usually by a bail agency, to guarantee their release. Read on to find out everything you need to know about posting bail and obtaining a bail bond.
How Is the Bail Amount Determined?
A person in police custody who is charged with a crime may be temporarily released from jail by posting bail or securing a bond. The bail amount is set by a judge and varies from state to state.
In North Carolina, the bail amount ranges anywhere between $10,000 to $3,000,000, depending on the offense committed.
Bail Amounts for Misdemeanor Cases
- Class A1 offense with a minimum punishment of 1-60 days: from $500 to $2,000
- Class A1 offense with a minimum punishment of 1-45 days: from $100 to $500
- Class 3 offense with a maximum punishment of 1-20: only requires a written promise; no penalty
Bail Amounts for Felony Cases
- Class A: The minimum punishment is life without parole, and the bail amount is set by the judge.
- Class B1: The minimum punishment is 144 months, and the suggested amount is $200,000 to $500,000.
- Class B2: The minimum punishment is 94 months, and the suggested amount is $200,000 to $500,000.
- Class C: The minimum punishment is 44 months, and the suggested amount is $50,000 to $150,000.
- Class D: The minimum punishment is 15 months, and the suggested amount is $50,000 to $150,000.
- Class E: The minimum punishment is 15 months, and the suggested amount is $25,000 to $50,000.
- Class F to I: The minimum punishment ranges from 3 to 59 months with a bail amount of $20,000 or below.
How Does a Bail Bond Work?
Once a judge sets bail, the defendant can reach out to a bail bond agent to obtain a bail bond. The bond agent charges the defendant about 10% to 20% of the total bail as well as service fees. The agent will then obtain the rest of the amount in the form of collateral, usually property. They will then post the defendant’s bail.
A bail bond guarantees that a defendant will appear at court. If they do not, theay will be required to pay the bond agent the full bail amount set by the judge.
Most bail agents provide different payment options, including cash, check, and credit card. Some even offer payment plans. If the defendant is not capable of payment, the agent may seek to repossess the property used as collateral.
How Are Bail Bond Costs Calculated?
To obtain a bail bond, defendants should expect to pay a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 20% of the full bail amount. The bond amount in North Carolina can reach up to 15%. So, if your bail set is $10,000, you have to pay $1,500 in bail bonds to your agent.
Note that a bail bondsman may charge you less, depending on your criminal record, your character, the quality of co-signer, and bail amount.
When Should You Get a Bail Bond?
Bail bonds should only serve as a backup plan. If you have enough money to settle bail, then you can directly pay the full amount to the court. Otherwise, consider these factors when deciding to work with a bail bond agency:
- If you plan on posting bail for someone else, consider how well you know the defendant. Keep in mind that if the defendant skips court, you won’t be able to get a refund on the bail you’ve posted. By working with a bail bondsman, you only have to pay 10% of the full bail amount. Plus, the agency takes measures to ensure the defendant shows up at court.
- Is the total bail amount low or high? If the amount is low enough, then you might not need to get a bail bond. Once the court process is over, you can refund the bail amount and save money in the process. If it’s too high, then turning to a bail bondsman is likely the best option.
Work with Reputable Bail Bond Agents
Don’t wait for your pre-trial to get released. At Amistad Bail Bonds, we help detained individuals reunite with their loved ones. Our licensed bail bond agents are ready to serve you 24/7. We accept down payments of as low as 5%.
Get quality bail bond services at low rates. Get in touch with us now to learn more about our services.