A bail premium is the amount you pay to a bail bonds company for their services and the financial risks they assume on the behalf of the defendant. The amount of this premium is usually 10 to 15 percent of the total amount of bail ordered by the court.
The bail premium is typically a one-time fee but there are exceptions to this. In some instances when a criminal case may take more than a year, a second premium will be owed to keep the defendant on bond. This second premium is required because the bail bondsman must renew the surety bond after a year.
This costly renewal premium of a bond can be avoided, though. Check with your lawyer about alternatives in the 10th or 11th month of your case. You may be able to have your bail reduced or exonerated, or you might be able to post collateral with the court instead of paying the premium. You should give yourself at least one month to deal with this before the year is up.
If you need to hire a bail agent, you can search throughout the United States for a pre-screened bail agent with AboutBail's trusted network.
Watch our video above for an explanation of the bail bond process. Learn more about how bail works.
Bail cost varies from state to state because of different statutes and regulations. Find out how much it costs in your state.