Bail Amounts Are Not Set At Random

Written by Margie Expert Bondsman on December 27, 2013 – 5:38 am -

A common question when it comes to arranging bail bonds relates to why the defendant’s bail has been set at X rate.

Bail amounts in California, for example, are among the highest in the nation.  The average range is often between $20,000 and $30,000.  It all depends on the crime the defendant was booked for.

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This can throw friends and family members into a state of sticker shock.  Why is this so high?  What if Read more »

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Things To Look For In A Bondsman

Written by Margie Expert Bondsman on August 28, 2013 – 5:03 am -

The idea of needing to hire a bondsman can be terrifying.

This mostly relates to the mental images you have based on what you’ve seen on television or in the movies.

Bail bonds

You may have heard that all companies are required to charge the same rate. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that they are all alike.  One might specialize in customer service while the guy down the street makes you feel like he’s trying to sell you a used car.

One key thing to look for in a bondsman is Read more »

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Important Bail Bonds FAQ

Written by Margie Expert Bondsman on June 20, 2013 – 6:51 am -

If you have never been asked to help arrange bail bonds before you probably have lots of questions about how the process works.  Many people envision needing to drive to a seedy part of town to meet with a bondsman.  They imagine this person will look like they just rolled out of a biker bar, and that their office will be dimly lit and filled with cigar smoke.  You will be relieved to find out that bail bonds professionals are nothing like what you see on television.  These people are highly trained experts who know how to get people out of jail fast.

The first thing to keep in mind when you begin the bail bonds process is that when you cosign the necessary paperwork you are taking responsibility for Read more »

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Three Questions To Ask Your Bondsman

Written by Margie Expert Bondsman on May 23, 2013 – 5:59 am -

Most people will go their entire lives without being asked to help arrange bail bonds for a friend.  It is not uncommon for people to be unfamiliar with how the process works.  If you have started your search online you may have learned that the cost to purchase bail bonds in California is set according to state law.  No matter where in the state a person is taken into custody the cost to hire a bondsman will be 10% of their bail amount.   It is important to know that just because all companies are required to charge the same rate that is not to say they are all alike.

You will want to ask your bondsman how long they have had their license.  How much training have they had?  Are they experienced?  A wet-behind-the-ears new bondsman who has had very little training is likely to make mistakes.  When you work with an experienced agent this can help ensure Read more »

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Fake Bondsman Jailed In Florida

Written by Margie Expert Bondsman on May 14, 2013 – 8:01 am -

A Florida woman who stole money from clients after posing as a bondsman has been booked into the Palm Beach County Jail.  Defendant Medellin Cruz-Santiago is accused of unlawfully obtaining $4,000 from women who were trying to get friends and family members released from custody.   At least one licensed bondsman said he is happy she has been taken into custody because she has been running this scam for quite some time.

Cruz-Santiago was previously employed with a local bail bonds company but never received the proper licensing.  She was fired from that position earlier this year after her employer learned that client money had gone missing.  At the time of her dismissal she stole a stack of blank business forms.  Police believe she has been using these documents in an effort to pose as a legitimate businesswoman.

One of Cruz-Santiago’s clients said she paid the woman $700 to get her husband out of jail.  When she called later in the day to get a status update she was told the money had been Read more »

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It Is Important To Understand The Bail Bonds Process

Written by Margie Expert Bondsman on May 9, 2013 – 8:42 am -

When a person is arrested and taken to jail there are several important things the defendant and the person who is cosigning their bail bonds contract will want to keep in mind.

Bail amounts are not set at random.  It is set according to the county bail schedule.  The only person who has the authority to raise or lower this amount is a judge.  You cannot go down to the jail and “haggle” with the jailer.

If the defendant is not a legal US citizen, if they are on parole or if they are on probation, they may be ineligible for bail.  In these cases the jailer may place an immigration, parole or probation hold on the person who is in custody.  A judge is the only person who is able to remove these types of holds.

When the defendant is released from jail Read more »

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Defaulting On Bail Bonds Fees

Written by Margie Expert Bondsman on May 2, 2013 – 6:51 am -

One misconception when it comes to bail bonds is that the bondsman’s fee will not need to be paid off if the defendant is found to be innocent.   The cost to purchase bail bonds can range between 8% and 15% depending on the state that person was arrested in.    Depending on how high bail was set, that cost can still translate into thousands of dollars.

Many people will pay the full cost with a debit or credit card.  Other people will choose to enroll in bail bonds payment plans.  If you have chosen the latter option you will need to continue to make payments until the balance is resolved.  This holds true even if charges are not filed, if the matter is dismissed or if the defendant is found not guilty.

If you stop paying on the bond you run the risk of Read more »

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Paying For A $700 Bail Bond

Written by Margie Expert Bondsman on April 25, 2013 – 12:47 am -

Every now and then our office will receive a call from a person who says they have a loved one who has been arrested and their bail has been set very low.  Sometimes it has been set at $500, other times it may be set at $700.   They have questions about how bail works and want to know what needs to happen in order to get the defendant out of jail fast.

The cost to purchase bail bonds will vary based on the state the defendant is being held in.   It typically ranges between 8% and 15%.  In California, for example, the cost to purchase bail bonds is 10%.  That rate is set based on state law and it is uniform throughout the state.  You will want to keep in mind that the fee you pay to a bondsman is Read more »

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The Cost To Purchase Bail Bonds Cannot Be Negotiated

Written by Margie Expert Bondsman on February 22, 2013 – 8:57 pm -

Our granddaughter was arrested a couple hours ago and it sounds like her bail was set at $20,000.  We called a bondsman but they were telling us it will cost $2,000 to purchase a bond. That just seems like such a high amount.  We’re both elderly and are on a fixed income.  Can we get a senior discount?  Will we be able to negotiate a better deal with him? 

In the state of California the fee that a bondsman charges his client is not set by his boss, nor is it set by the owner of the company.  The commercial bail industry is regulated by the Department of Insurance (DOI) and the DOI is the agency that tells us what we’re supposed to charge for bail bonds.  That rate is set by law and it is illegal for a bondsman to charge more or less than what is required by law.

If you don’t have the full $2,000 up front, don’t worry.  There are a number of companies who allow their clients the option of paying the cost of the bond off over time.  Some have set payment terms, others work with clients on an individual basis.  If you do decided to enroll in a payment plan you’ll want to make sure you fully understand the terms and conditions before you sign your name on the dotted line.

 

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Alabama Bail Bond Fee Likely Imminent

Written by Margie Expert Bondsman on July 19, 2012 – 5:58 am -

Alabama lawmakers are expected to deal with continued scrutiny over passage of a bill which imposes a mandatory fee on most bail bonds posted within the state.

The only exception to the rule, say Sheriffs, are bonds posted for minor traffic offenses.  All others are subject to the non-refundable $35 fee.   Additional fees are also scheduled to be attached to bonds, ranging from $450 for misdemeanors and $750 for felonies.  The $35 fee is required to be paid within two days of the bond’s execution.  The larger fee will not need to be paid until after the case has concluded.

Some local bail bonds companies are crying foul, arguing it’s not the job of the bail industry to help offset the $27 million cut to Alabama’s judicial system.  A lawsuit has since been filed in the Montgomery County Circuit Court.  The suit claims the additional fees are unconstitutional because even those who are charged but found to be guilty will still need to pay the $35 bonding fee.   Penalizing the innocent, they say, is a constitutional violation.  That matter is still pending.

According to a recent report by the Cullman Times,  some lawmakers are concerned that Read more »

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