Bail Bondsman Tips: 5 things to know before hiring one

Any Jail. Anytime. Anywhere.

Call 661-324-6009

1. There’s no such thing as a 5% bail bond

For many people, price is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a bail bondsman.

You may see ads for local bail bondsmen who promise to be the “cheapest in town” or “5% bail.” However, this is just underhanded marketing.

As in most states, California stipulates how much a bond will cost. The cost of a bail bond (or surety bond) in California is 10% of the bail amount in most cases. For instance, if the amount of bail is set at $50,000 the total cost of the bond is $5,000. Cowboy Bail Bonds fee is set by the State of California. If you encounter an agency that says they will “negotiate” the cost with you, be wary. Any agent saying they have the lowest cost in town is simply trying to get your business, because the bondsman has little choice what to charge.

2. You may not need collateral

While the total cost of a bail bond is not negotiable, there are some agencies that will work with you to help make paying easier. Many will accept bail bond payments made with credit cards, and others will offer a payment plan. If the agency offers a payment plan, there should never be additional costs or fees.

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we are typically able to supply bonds with nothing more than a signature (instead of requiring collateral). Keep in mind, however, this will vary from person to person. When you give us a call, we can let you know within minutes whether or not you qualify for a signature bond (versus a bond that requires collateral).

3. Make sure your bail bondsman is licensed

California laws require all bail bondsman and bail bond companies to be licensed through the California Department of Insurance. You can verify our license status online at

4. Not everyone qualifies for bail

Whether they’ve been denied bail or no one posted bail on their behalf, a defendant can remain in jail until the court authorizes their release. Depending on the charges, this time period can vary significantly.

5. Never hire a bail bondsman who solicits business from a jail

State laws stipulate how bail bondsmen can obtain new business. As an example, they’re not allowed to offer bail services from jail. Despite this, there are some who will ignore this law. As a result, they could lose their license and face jail time and felony charges.

Any Jail. Anytime. Anywhere.

Call 661-324-6009

Or toll-free 855-324-2245


Steve is a great guy! While I haven’t personally ever needed a bail bonds man, as his IT guy I’ve watched him talk to families and folks who need his help in a tough time with the law, and he’s professional, kind hearted, and attentive to their needs. Definitely recommend.

Chuck Brown