The most asked question a bail bondsman gets is ‘How much does a bail bond cost?’. In Virginia, bail bondsman cannot charge below 10% or about 15% for the bond. This part of the cost is referred to as the premium. If all of the premium is not paid up front, a bondsman cannot charge interest for the remainder of the payment. Quoting the law from the Virginia Code § 9.1-185.8, section I
A licensed bail bondsman shall not charge a bail bond premium less than 10 percent or more than 15 percent of the amount of the bond. A licensed bail bondsman shall not loan money with interest for the purpose of helping another obtain a bail bond.
If a bondsman offers their services and charge a discounted or reduced price, know that you’re working with someone who’s dealing dirty. At a minimum, be sure to read and understand all of the fine print in the contracts you sign. However, if you’re really smart, you won’t employ his services, but rather call an honest bondsman like Aarrow Bail Bonds at 804-833-2785.
In addition to the premium, bondsmen may charge and administrative fee. The law is a bit vague defining how much can be allowed to be charged. The word ‘reasonable’ is used instead. Quoting from the same chapter as above, but in section D
An administrative fee may be charged by a bail bondsman, not to exceed reasonable costs. Reasonable costs may include, but are not limited to, travel, court time, recovery fees, phone expenses, administrative overhead and postage.
Something else to bear in mind. The premium and the fees are total cost of the bail bonds providing the person being bonded out shows up to all his or her court appearances. If not, the cost of the bond jumps up to the full amount of the bond, rather than 10%.
So if you’re thinking of cosigning for a loved one and can’t afford to pay the full amount of the bond, don’t cosign unless you are certain they’ll show up, and deal with a bondsman you trust.