Written by our Subject Matter Experts
We consulted our licensed bail bondsman to provide a clear and transparent answer to the question: “if bail is $250,000, how much do I pay?“
Our answer includes the standard 10-15% premium ($25,000 to $37,500 on a $250,000 bail bond) that is charged by the bail bonds company, and it also digs deeper into additional fees you might be charged.
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Our answer is the true, accurate answer that takes into account all fees that you might have to pay to get out on a $250,000 bond.
If bail is set to $250,000 – how much do I pay for the premium, or main fee?
The premium is typically 10-15% in most states. This is the base fee that every bail bonds company will require you to pay. For a $250,000 bail bond, this means $25,000 to $37,500 in costs that you need to pay. This amount is non-refundable and you will not be able to get this money back no matter what the outcome of the case is (dismissed, innocent, etc.).
Tip: Review the exact premium fee for your state by checking our state-specific bail pages – click on your state and review the “how much is bail” section to see if your state requires a 10%, 15%, or different premium.
Most sources will tell you this is the only fee you will need to pay, but this is not accurate. There are other potential costs associated with $250,000 bail and any other amount. You may be charged additional fees beyond the $25,000 to $37,500 premium depending on the bonding company, the risk associated with the bond, the location, and many other factors.
How much does a $250,000 bail bond cost with all fees?
Not all bondsmen charge fees in addition to the 10-15% premium. In fact, states such as North Carolina prevent bondsmen from doing so. In those states, bondsman may charge on the higher end of the spectrum (15%, or $37,500 for a $250,000 bail bond). This is to make up for the inability to charge itemized expenses.
Consult the following list to see possible extra fees in addition to the premium 10-15% that’s associated with $250,000 bail.
- Travel Fee: Fee associated with bondsman travel time to jail, or late-hour pickups, especially distant counties or out of state. An example of a travel fee structure might be $20 per county, or $30 per county on weekends.
- Credit Card Processing Fee: Credit card processing fees can vary from anywhere 3.5% to 5%, so you should always ask if you will be charged a processing fee especially if you are about to make a large payment. Five percent on $250,000 bail, is $500 in fees since you’ll only pay the 5% based on the premium (10% in this example).
- Change of Indemnitor/Co-signer Fee: Most bondsmen will have a set fee for switching co-signers on a bond – this happens if someone changes their mind and doesn’t want the financial burden of a bail bond after they bail you out. Expect to pay a minimum of $100 (flat fee on a $250,000 bail bond) to change co-signers mid-term.
- Cancellation Fee: Don’t expect to call up the bondsman and get off the bond without paying a cancellation fee, if the bail bondsman allows it at all! A common cancellation fee is the full 10-15% charge all over again, since you are making the bondsman re-do his entire workload. That’s potentially an extra $25,000 to $37,500 on a $250,000 bail bond, and you won’t get that money back, or the initial 10-15% you paid. Be careful!
- Failure to Appear (FTA) Fee: Failure to appear is a criminal offense that will result in the bond being revoked and a capias, or warrant for arrest, being issued. In addition, some bondsmen include an “FTA Fee” in the agreements you sign, so that they can recoup their additional costs. An example scenario where this may be used, is if someone accidentally misses court due to a serious illness or emergency. The bondsman may agree to re-bond the defendant back out of jail, as long as they turn themselves in immediately and pay a $150 FTA fee, for example.
- Court Appearance Fee: Similar to an FTA fee, but charged when a bondsman must appear in court for something related to your bond. This could be an hourly rate, such as $50/hour, or a set amount such as $150 per appearance.
- Check-In Fee: Bail companies may set a fee associated with check-ins, to make sure they have someone available to meet you if the bondsman is with another client. An example would be $10 per check-in.
- Electronic Monitoring: If your $250,000 bail bond comes with a court order for electronic monitoring, it is the defendant’s duty to check with their lawyer or pre-trial services officer to determine who is responsible for that cost.
- Forfeiture & Bail Enforcement Fees: If the $250,000 bond is forfeited due to the defendant’s willful failure to appear for a required court appearance or other violation of bond conditions, the defendant and their co-signer are responsible for the entire bond amount.
In summary, be prepared to pay $25,000 to $37,500 at the very minimum if bail is $250,000. This will cover the 10% to 15% bail premium fee which goes to the bail bondsman for their service. It is important to review the applicable fees that may be charged in addition to the premium. Be sure to ask your bondsman if any travel or credit card processing fees apply for your $250,000 bail bond. It’s also highly recommended to check on the other fees listed to get a full understanding of the costs, risks, and commitment you are making when asking for a $250,000 bail bond.
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A bounty hunter is hired by a bail bondsman to locate and arrest a person who does not show to court as agreed in their bail bond agreement. Bounty hunters are sometimes referred to as bail recovery agents.