In the state of California the cost to purchase bail bonds is set by the State Department of Insurance. This means that the SDI, not individual bondsmen or bail bonds companies, has set the rate at which people in our industry are permitted to charge their clients.
The rate to purchase San Diego bail bonds is 10%. This means if a person’s bail has been set at $20,000, you can expect to pay $2,000 to purchase a bond. Bail is a regulated industry and because of this, it is illegal for bondsmen to charge more or less than the legal rate.
Sometimes, companies will attempt to lure people in with promise of 2% bail bonds or 5% bail bonds. In cases such as these, those percentages are often the amount of money they will require someone put down in order to get a payment plan. On the other hand, if they are offering to sell you cheap bail bonds you should see this as an immediate red flag. This person is breaking the law. You should ask yourself, if they are doing something illegal on the front end in order to make a quick buck, can you trust they will behave lawfully once you sign the contract? Are you sure they won’t come back and threaten surrendering the defendant back into custody unless you give them more money? If they require collateral, can you be positive you’ll get it back?
If you are unable to pay for the full cost of the bond up front, be sure to ask the bondsman you’re working with if you are eligible for a payment plan. Many companies offer this option and some even offer zero-percent bail bonds financing to those who qualify.