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What is the purpose bail in criminal actions?

When an individual is arrested for an alleged crime, he/she must remain in custody (jail) until his or her guilt or innocence is proven. In California, a defendant has the option of purchasing a bail bond through the use of a bail bondsman to get out of jail and live his/her normal life while making all of his/her court appearances before the Judge.

How much does a bail bond cost?

Fortunately for you, the consumer, the cost for purchasing a bail bond is the same for all bail agencies and is set by the California Department of Insurance. The rate is 10% of the bail.  This is a very good thing for you both as a citizen and as a consumer. The primary objective of bail law is to keep society safe. Generally speaking, bail amounts are based upon the severity of the crime and the number of charges of each crime. Annually, the Judges in our county review and update the bail amounts for the most common of crimes.

That said, all bail companies have a standardized fee, which is set by the California Department of Insurance. Standardization means to you, the customer, and to every bail company that this fee is the same - across the board, for all bail companies. There are no sale days in the bail business. In California the fee is 10% of the value of the bond amount. For example, a bail set at $25,000 would require a $2500.00 non-refundable premium.

Why do some bail agencies advertise less than 10%?

While we can’t be certain of the policies of all other bail agencies, we can be sure that the “legal rate” in California for bail is 10%. There are some agencies that offer an 8% bond for certain kinds of indemintors. However, again the legal rate in California is 10%...or in other words…it is the law. It is a law that protects you from being over-charged, and protects all citizens by keeping society safe by keeping dangerous criminals in custody.  If you are offered something than less 8%, be sure to question all the expectations for payment, read all the financial agreements and make sure you are not being offered a bait and switch deal. Unfortunately, it happens in our industry. 

Can I pay less than 10% if I don’t have all the money?

We make every effort to provide a customized solution that works for you and us. We desire your business, but we also require you to comply with the law by paying the legal premium amount. We do find ways to make it possible for some short term payment plans if all the premium cannot be paid up front. That is most often for customers who have a healthy credit history.

As a reminder, the approved legal rate in California is no less than 8% and no more than 10% for the bond. Beware of any bail agent that tells you that the premium is only 2% or 5%. Confusion arises when discussing down payments and premium fees. Understand your full responsibility before signing any documents.

At Maselli Bail Bonds, we value ethical and honest business practices, so we choose to comply with the legal rate that is established by the California Department of Insurance and charge our clients 10%. Customized solutions are offered for paying the 10% non-refundable premium. For 34 years we’ve been successful doing it the right way. There are no hidden fees or taxes.

Who decides how much the bail is?

Annually, the judges for each county determine the bail schedule for specific crimes.

Do I need collateral?

That depends on your individual case. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. When calling us, we will explore the best customized plan for you.


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