How Do I Qualify For Discount 5% Bail Bonds?

People are often shocked when they find out a friend has been arrested and their bail has been set in the tens of thousands of dollars.

California bail amounts are among the highest in the nation and the cost to bail someone out of jail can be substantial. Most bail bonds in California are transacted at 10% of the defendant’s total bail. The average bail in this state can is between $25,000 and $50,000, which means the average cost to purchase a bond can be between $2,500 to $5,000.

Many times the friend or family member who will be paying for the bond will pick up a phone book and begin frantically calling every bondsman listed, hoping to find someone who can give them a deal. They may even try to negotiate the cost in the same way they’d haggle with a car salesman. What they don’t realize is that bail is a regulated industry and the rate at which bondsmen charge their clients is not set by individual company owners or even the bondsmen themselves. The rate is set by the California Department of Insurance.

The standard rate to purchase California bail bonds is 10%. Sometimes people will try to negotiate 5% bail bonds by offering to pay the full amount right then if the bondsman agrees to accept the offer. Other times they will try to get the cost of the bond reduced by offering to put up collateral. Once again, you need to remember that purchasing bail bonds is not like buying a car. Bail is a regulated industry and it is against the law for bail bonds companies to charge more or less than the set legal rate.

There are unscrupulous bondsmen who may advertise the “cheapest bail in town” or who have signs posted offering “discount bail bonds”. The idea of saving money is alluring to many consumers and they may quickly walk into an office that is promising a lower rate. Once they sit down to do the paperwork, though, they will quickly realize this discounted rate often refers to the amount of money they will be required to put down in order to be eligible for a payment plan. The total cost of the bond, they learn, will still be 10%.

If you ever find yourself in a position where you need to help get a friend or family member out of jail, your biggest focus should be finding a bondsman you feel you can trust. Does this person seem to have expert knowledge of how bail works? Do they take the time to answer your questions in a polite and courteous manner? Do you get the sense they truly care about your situation?

All bail bonds companies may be required to charge the same price but this is not to say they all provide the same level of customer service. If you feel as if the bondsman is more concerned about putting money in their pocket as opposed to getting your loved one out of jail, you may want to move on and call someone else.


More California Bail Bonds Resources


Updated: 7/12/2012