How Much Does a Bail Bond Cost?

How much you pay for bond when securing someone’s release after arraignment is a very hard question to pin down since bail amounts often vary quite a bit for the same charges, let alone when comparing different cases where the charges don’t overlap. In general, when you take out a bond, your Pennsylvania bail bond company will charge about 10% of the bond amount in non-refundable fees and service costs. Occasionally, extra release conditions will add to the expense, but the judge sets those requirements in addition to bail.

Collateral for Bonds

In addition to the fees, a bond agent may require you to put up collateral for the bond. This is typically done when the bond amount is high enough to pose a significant risk to the bond company if it is forfeited. The collateral provides the company with recourse to recover financially in that event. For smaller bond amounts, collateral is not usually needed, but it may be required if a defendant has a history of trying to avoid court.

Choosing Between Bond and Bail

Bail will always cost more upfront, but in cases where the money won’t be missed, it also provides a path to being reimbursed once the case is over. By contrast, bonds are specifically suited for situations where someone needs release and doesn’t have the means to make cash bail. In some cases, though, the judge stipulates either cash bail or bond as the only option. Often, that is a risk-limiting order on the part of the court. For example, if a defendant has a lot of financial resources, a bond requirement engages a third party with a vested interest in making sure the defendant gets to court. Most of the time, though, the choice is left up to the person paying for a defendant’s release.