Recently I posted bail for a friend. His bail was $2000.00. I had to post $200.00 plus a $35.00 fee. My friend appeared in court and the case is finished. I called the bail bonds lady cause I thought at least I would get something back cause the court had notified here that the case was finished and there are no other court matters involving my friend. I guess stupid me thinking I would at least get something back after the case was closed. I understand the $35.00 fee, but the bail bonds lady said that the $200.00 was a premium and there was nothing owed me. I probably need to understand bail procedures. If someone can explain to me it would be appreciated.
Criminal Defense Attorney
This sounds like a typical bond--you post 10% of the bond with the bonding company and security for 90% of the bond with the bonding company. The bonding company irrespective of the case results keeps the 10% plus any other fees otherwise they could not stay in business.
An appearance bond or posting 100% of the surety bond with the court is the only way you can get all your money back.
When you go through a bail bonds place you do not get any of the money back. If you had posted the bond through the court you would have gotten the money back minus the state fee. Since you went through a bail company you do not get the same benefit.
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Your payment of $200 (10% of the bail amount) was the the bonding agent's fee to you. When you pay that fee, they then guarantee the presence of your friend to show up in court. That is their fee for the guarantee and it's nonrefundable because it's earned. When the person shows up in court it seems like easy money for the bondsman, but when the person does not show up in court the bondsman owes the court the full $2,000.
Your friend owes you $235 and a thank you for bailing him out.
JensenLegal.com (206) 617-9173
I agree with Mr. Morgan. 10% is a very common fee that the bonding company keeps for their pay. There should be a written contract that you signed with them that explains their fees and/or costs?