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A bail bond is much like a short-term loan, where you pay a flat rate premium to borrow the money needed to get out of jail. Each state has its own rules regarding the maximum premium that can be charged for a bail bond. However, the bail bondsman does have some leeway about how much of a premium they will charge. Here are some of the things they consider when deciding on the premium that will be paid.
The Severity Of The Client's Crime
The bail bondsman will look at the crime that their client is being accused of since that can play a big factor in if the person is going to return for their required court appearance. A low-level crime may result in a smaller premium because the person will most likely return to court, while a more serious crime could see the highest premium possible.
The Collateral That The Client Uses
The type of collateral that is used to secure the bail bond can also play a role in the total premium. Someone that uses a high-value item that is worth much more than the bail money itself, such as their home, could see a small premium as a result.
The Client's Track Record
A bail bondsman will look at the client's history when it comes to getting released from jail and returning to court. If the person has not had a problem in the past with returning to court, this means that the bail bondsman could offer a reduced premium because they feel confident the client will return. However, someone that has skipped bail in the past and not shown up to court could be charged a higher premium. In addition, anybody with a personal history with a particular bail bondsman could see a reduced premium if they have demonstrated that they are reliable to return to court.
The Client's Flight Risk
There are many factors that are used to determine if someone is a flight risk. If someone does not have any ties to the local community, such as not having a job or not owning property, they have less to lose by leaving town and not returning to court. However, someone that has a family, kids, property, and a job has more of a reason to stay in town and show up to court. That flight risk assessment can play into how much is charged for a premium, with someone that's less of a flight risk being charged less.
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