Felony Bail Bonds
A felony is classified as a serious crime and carries a minimum imprisonment of 366 days (one year and one day). It can be both a violent and non-violent crime. When a person has been accused or charged with a felony crime, it has the potential to disrupt the family or professional life of the defendant.
Examples of felonies include:
- illegal drug abuse or sales
- possession of drugs
- tax evasion
- aggravated assault
Even those felonies that are considered less serious, referred to as second-degree felonies, have significant fines and terms of imprisonment.
When the police arrest a person on charges of felony, they are taken into custody and transported to a local police station or prison facility and subjected to various processes such as taking the fingerprints of the accused, photographs, background checks, etc. After all that, the person becomes eligible for filing a bail application.
Because felonies mostly are severe crimes, especially if they are violent, thus making the suspect a higher risk, bail for felony crimes is much more expensive than for other crimes.
Bail for felonies typically ranges between as little as $4,500 to $50,000. However, bail can easily far exceed these amounts and reach hundreds of thousands of dollars if the record of the criminal and the severity of the crime is particularly heinous, for instance, if the crime is considered possibly deserving the death penalty.
Please also note that the judge handling the case has quite a bit of freedom in determining whether or not even to allow bail and how much the bail will be. Each state and jurisdiction also have general guidelines of their own for minimum and maximum amounts so that costs can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction for the same crime.
How to pay a felony bond
You or anyone on your behalf, family, friends, coworkers, etc. can pay a bail bond. You can pay it in cash directly to the court. If the defendant does not appear on the date of the hearing, the money is forfeited by the court.
Using property as a collateral
If you are not able to arrange the bail amount in cash, you can also put up a property as collateral instead. In such cases, the equity of the accused in the said property must be significantly higher than the bail amount. This method of procuring bail entails a longer process than cash, and it may be days and even weeks before the defendant can be released.
Hiring a bail bondsman
If you have no money or property to execute a bail bond, a bail bondsman can help. In this case, the bail bondsman provides the court with a surety bond that if the defendant does not appear in the court, the bail bondsman will pay the full bail amount to the court.
Please note that the cost of hiring a bail bondsman for felonies will be higher than for other crimes because the bail amount for felonies will be higher. Also, the costs associated with locating a defendant in case of no appearance are higher as well.
Following are the typical costs associated with hiring a bail bondsman:
A fee for the bail bondsman
You can expect to pay a bondsman about 10% of the total bail amount to get out of jail. So, if a family member has committed a felony and the judge sets bail at $55,000, then you should expect to pay a bondsman $5,500 for his services. And by doing this, you also promise the bondsman to help find the defendant if he or she does not show up for court.
Any reasonable expenses that are necessary to complete the bond formalities.
Expenses incurred on locating the defendant
Costs associated with finding the defendant in case of non-appearance.