Bail Bond Breakdown

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If you watch TV, you've probably seen it hundreds of times: A judge bangs a gavel and says, bail is set at 100 thousand dollars.
But how do they reach that decision?

"The purpose of bail is actually to ensure that an individual will show up for court proceedings, " says Circuit Judge Larry Anderson.

Depending on the severity of the crime, bail can reach into the millions.

"It can range to releasing somebody on his own recognizance, all the way up to holding somebody, no bond, on a capital case and any where in between".

Whether it's theft, robbery, murder or drug charges there is a procedure Judges must follow.

Officials say it's not only the crime you commit, but a number of other factors that play a part for the amount your bail is set.

"Contacts with the community, whether or not the person is local, whether or not the person is out of state, the nature of the crime, whether or not violence was involved, whether or not a weapon was involved, the character of the individual, employment of the individual, any number of factors," says Anderson.

And once bail is set, the family or person in jail can call a bondsman.

"Someone in jail will call our company, they'll be seeking bond and depending on what that bond is depends on the premium, typically most bonding companies will charge you ten percent on large bonds and fifteen percent on small bonds," says Vice President of Thompson Bonding Company Toby Stacey.

"Not everybody we deal with are bad people, some people just made a mistake, you do have some career criminals."

It's a process in place to keep those career criminals off the streets of Dothan.

Because bail costs vary depending on the crime, most bail bond companies offer payment plans for those who need it.

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