Bail policies vary according to state. North Carolina, for example, allows a maximum bail premium of 15%, while North Dakota allows a maximum of 10%, or 75$, whichever is higher. Bail premium is the percentage of the total amount of bail; it’s what you pay bond agencies when you can’t come up with the money.
Your Cash vs. Bail Bonds
The upside to the bail premium is that it frees you from collecting the entire amount of bail to get your loved one out of jail. Instead of calling up every person you know or getting a fast loan, you can just look up a bail bond agency in Raleigh or elsewhere in North Carolina.
All you need is to provide 15% of the total bail, and the bond agency will guarantee the rest so the court can release your spouse, kid, parent, or friend. The downside to this arrangement is that bail premium, which becomes the bond agency’s fee, is non-refundable.
Guilty or Not Guilty
The courts grant bail as a way to ensure defendants show up for court hearings. So if your loved one fails to show up for hearings, the court doesn’t issue a refund, and instead, issues a warrant for arrest for the individual.
If the court dismisses the case, the bond agency gets its money back. You get your loved one back, but not the bail premium.
Now if you put up the cash yourself, the court will return the bail. If the court renders a guilty verdict, you might not get a full refund of the bail you put up. Also, the court doesn’t immediately discharge the money. It has to go through a process, and you may have to wait a few weeks to get the bail back. If the court hasn’t released your money in months, you should inquire about the delay.
When a loved one lands in jail, there’s always a chance of getting a pre-trial release through bail. You can put up the money on your own or use a bail bond agency. Whether you get your money back or not, focus on getting a good lawyer. With the right representation, your loved one has a fighting chance in court, which could mean a pre-trial release without the need for bail.