The bail bond premium is the non-refundable fee paid to the bail agency in exchange for their services. Most states including California set the bail premium at 10%. For example, a $50,000 bond would require a $5,000 bail premium be paid to the bail bondsman for the bond posting and subsequent release of the defendant. Bail bond premiums can be paid in form or cash, checks, money orders, bank wire transfers, credit cards, and debit cards.
However, Federal and immigrations bonds generally cost between 15-20%. Discounts on the bail premium are available in some states such as California and vary depending the case circumstances and bail company involved.
It is important to note that the bail bond premium is not refunded, regardless of the outcome of the case. For example, if a bond is posted and the defendant appears to all court dates the bail company keeps the bail premium. A common question that often arises is:
“What if I bond out of jail and charges are not filed, do I get my bail premium refunded?”
Answer: No, once the bond has been posted no refunds are given. The bail bondsman has earned the money regardless of if the district attorney decides to file charges or not.
Keep in mind that paying a bail bondsman is much more affordable and easier than paying the bond yourself.