Not too many people actually plan to be arrested. While you may not have this in your plans, knowing what to do once you are arrested could possibly help to shorten the amount of time you spend behind bars. One of the fastest ways to get out is to post any required bail. Unfortunately, even if you have the amount of money the court is asking for, you may not be able to access it while you are sitting behind bars. A bail bondsman will not only get you out of jail, but there are also other advantages to using their services, but you must first understand the process works.
What Is A Bail?
Once you are charged with a crime and booked into jail, the court will often set a bail amount. This is a financial incentive the court uses to help assure that you will show up to court when you are scheduled. If you fail to show up, the court will be able to keep the money or property you have paid to the court. Once you have showed up for all of your appearances and satisfied any financial commitments, the court orders the balance will be returned to you. This can be paid several different ways. These are
- By cash or guaranteed funds
- By posting the title of property in which the owner has equity equal to or beyond the cost of the bond
- By someone else, such as a bondsman, posting a bond guaranteeing the whole amount
- By the judge agreeing to waive the bail in an agreement where you will simply agree to appear in court when you are scheduled. This is often referred to as being released on your own recognizance.
How Is My Bail Amount Created?
Setting your bail amount may be done by the magistrate on duty, or you may have to actually go before a judge for a first appearance or an arraignment. This amount is normally determined by:
- Standard bail schedules
- Prearranged judicial standards
Even within these guidelines, there are many other things that the judge will take into consideration in determining what it will cost you to get out of jail. These include some of the following:
- Your past criminal record
- Any pending charges
- Ties you have to the community
- Whether or not you are employed
- Whether you would be a flight risk
Depending on where or when you are arrested, this process may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
What Are The Differences Between Posting Bail And Posting Bond?
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, posting bail and posting bond are not the same thing. While they both will result in you being released from jail until the charges against you have been resolved, the difference lies in who the money comes from.
If you or your family are able to produce the full amount of the funds that are required, you are posting bail. If you use the services of a bail bondsman, they are not required to post the entire amount with the court. They are only required to post a bond or show that they have the ability to post the full amount in the case you do not show. They will be posting bond.
Why Should You Use A Bail Bondsman?
Although hiring a bail bondsman to post your bond will often cost you a fee that is usually equal to 10% of the amount of the bond, there are several reasons that this may be your best option.
Bail bondsmen are on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. While you may have to wait for your bank or brokerage firm to open to access funds you have, a bail bondsman would have been able to get you out and have you on your way. This is one of the fastest ways to get from behind bars.
Services accessed through a bail bondsman are usually confidential. Because of the types of services they render, you will not have to worry about your bails bondsman releasing any information pertaining to your arrest and release. Unfortunately, depending on where you are arrested, your arrest may be public record.
Bail bondsmen accept most major credit cards. Many bail bondsmen will post your bond even if you are unable to immediately get to your wallet. They will come or send someone to the jail to secure your release, as well as to collect their funds. They will bring all of the paperwork you need to you. Depending on the circumstances, they may even be willing to wait for your bank to open.
A bail bondsman will be able to help you to navigate the local judicial system. Not only will they be able to tell you when and where you are to appear, they may even be able to give you a lead on hiring a local attorney.
Do not spend time in jail when you do not have to. Use the phone call you will be granted to call a bail bondsman. Unlike some of your friends and family, a bail bondsman will come quickly when you call them.
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