24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

How Much Does it Cost to Bail Someone Out of Jail?


How Much Does it Cost to Bail Someone Out of Jail?

Getting arrested and thrown in jail can be a scary, overwhelming experience. And once you’re sitting in that holding cell, one of the first things you’ll probably be thinking about is “How do I get out of here?” For many people, the answer is bail.

Bail is money or property that is deposited with the court to secure the release of a defendant from jail before their trial. It allows the defendant to get out of jail and await their court dates at home, rather than being stuck behind bars.

But posting bail usually comes with a hefty price tag. So how much exactly will it cost to bail someone out of jail? The answer depends on a lot of factors.

How Bail is Set

First, it’s important to understand how bail amounts are determined in the first place. After an arrest, the judge will consider the defendant’s flight risk (how likely they are to flee before trial), as well as the danger they pose to the community when setting the bail amount. Defendants deemed a high risk will have a higher bail, while low-risk defendants will have a lower amount.

The bail amount set by the judge is meant to be significant enough to incentivize the defendant to show up for their court appearances. But it cannot be excessively high to the point of just keeping the defendant in detention pretrial. This would violate the 8th Amendment’s “excessive bail” clause.

Judges have a lot of discretion in setting bail amounts on a case-by-case basis. But many jurisdictions have bail schedules that recommend standard bail amounts based on the criminal charge. For example, the bail schedule may say $20,000 for a felony burglary charge or $1,000 for a misdemeanor petty theft.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Cash Bail vs. Bond

Once the judge sets the bail amount, there are two main options for posting bail and getting out of jail:

  1. Pay the full cash amount. This means paying the entire bail amount in cash upfront. The money will be returned at the end of the case, minus any court fees.
  2. Go through a bail bond agent. A bond agent will charge a nonrefundable fee, usually 10% of the full bail amount. They will also require collateral. They then post a bond with the court for the full amount. This allows you to get out of jail without paying the full bail upfront.

Because coming up with the full cash amount can be difficult, most people use a bail bondsman and pay a smaller fee. But bondsmen will charge interest and fees, require collateral like a house or car, and may require you to use GPS monitoring. There are also predatory bail lenders to watch out for.

Factors That Determine Cost

As you can see, the specific cost to bail someone out depends on several key factors:

1. The Initial Bail Amount Set

The higher the bail set by the judge, the more it will cost to bail the person out. Bail for minor misdemeanors may only be a few hundred dollars. But for serious felony charges, bail can be $100,000 or more in some cases.

2. Using Cash vs. a Bail Bond

Posting the full cash amount upfront will be more expensive than using a bail bond agent and paying 10% of the total bail. But bondsmen add on fees and interest that can add to the overall cost.

3. The Defendant’s Financial Situation

Someone’s ability to afford bail costs also comes into play. Wealthier defendants can easily post high cash bails. Poorer defendants may have no choice but to use a bond or remain detained pretrial.

4. State and Jurisdiction

Bail laws, schedules, and costs can vary across different states, counties, and courts. Some jurisdictions impose higher bails and costs than others.

Average Bail Costs

While costs range widely, here are some general ballpark figures for average bail costs:

  • Minor misdemeanor (shoplifting, minor drug possession): $500 – $1,500+ cash bail.
  • DUI: $1,500 – $5,000+ cash bail.
  • Serious misdemeanor (assault, DUI with injury): $2,500 – $7,500+ cash bail.
  • Low-level nonviolent felony (drug dealing, burglary): $10,000 – $25,000+ cash bail.
  • Serious violent felony (robbery, aggravated assault): $25,000 – $100,000+ cash bail.

For bail bonds, you would pay roughly 10% of the bail amount plus fees. So for a $10,000 bail, you may pay $1,000 to the bondsman plus additional fees that could total $1,500 or more. Costs add up fast.

Other Common Bail Costs

In addition to the bail bond premium or cash amount, there are other costs to consider:

  • Interest rates and monthly fees – Bond agents often charge 1-3% interest per month on unpaid balances, or monthly service fees.
  • Collateral – You may have to put up a house, car, or other assets as collateral with steep penalties if you miss court.
  • GPS monitoring – Some bondsmen charge daily fees for ankle monitors or other tracking.
  • Court administrative fees – There can be fees for paperwork processing, bail reinstatement if revoked, etc.
  • Attorney fees – A defense lawyer will also cost money but can help get bail reduced or waived.

Shop around, read the fine print, and weigh the total costs. Don’t get stuck owing more than you bargained for.

Saving on Bail Costs

There are some options for reducing bail costs:

  • Ask the judge to lower or waive bail at an initial or bail review hearing.
  • If eligible, use a nonprofit bail fund that posts bond for free or reduced costs.
  • See if any bail reform laws in your state impose limits on bail amounts or bond fees.
  • Research bondsmen thoroughly and negotiate the lowest fees possible.
  • Raise money from friends and family or use personal assets as collateral instead of a bondsman.

Shop around, negotiate fees, and exhaust all options. Every dollar counts when bail and bond costs are so high.

The True Costs of Cash Bail

Beyond just the financial costs, the cash bail system imposes other burdens as well:

  • Low-income people stay stuck in jail pretrial if they can’t afford bail, even for minor charges.
  • This can cause people to lose jobs, housing, custody, and create further instability.
  • People plead guilty just to get out of jail, even if they are innocent.
  • Taxpayers foot the bill for unnecessary pretrial detention.

Cash bail widens inequalities. Wealth, not public safety, determines who gets detained. And communities of color are disproportionately impacted. Reform advocates say risk, not money, should determine pretrial release.

Bail costs are complex, confusing, and higher than many people expect. But understanding the key factors can help you or a loved one get through the process as smoothly as possible. With smart decisions and a little luck, you’ll be back home in no time.


Eighth Amendment, LII / Legal Information Institute

Detaining the Poor: How money bail perpetuates an endless cycle of poverty and jail time, Prison Policy Initiative

Schedule Your Consultation Now