Being arrested is scary and incredibly discouraging, especially if it is your first time behind bars. Fortunately, most courts assign bail according to a pre-set schedule within the first few days of your arrest so you can remain free until you are convicted. Here are three things you should know about bail so you and your family don't have to worry.
1. You May Not Have to Pay the Full Amount
Oftentimes, bail amounts sound astronomical. Depending on the crime you are suspected of committing, your bond could be set anywhere from hundreds to millions of dollars, which is why many people wonder how they would ever bail out of jail until their trial.
Fortunately, depending on the type of bail the judge assigns, you may only be responsible for a percentage of the total or you may be able to use personal property like your vehicle or home as collateral.
For instance, if you purchase bail bonds from a bondsman, you may only have to have 10% of the price the bond is set at. For instance, if your judge sets bail at $50,000, you may only need $5,000 to stay out of jail until you are convicted — a small price to pay if you work full time or your family relies on you for daily help.
2. Some Bail Bonds are Cheaper than Others
Like any other market, there are variances in the costs of bail bonds, which is why it is a good idea to call various businesses if you find yourself in need of a bondsman. While many states govern how much bail bonds companies can charge, highly competitive markets can drive the price down, which means you may be able to save by doing a little research.
3. You Could Get Your Money Back
While the premium of a bail bond is non-refundable, posting cash bail doesn't necessarily mean that you will lose all of the money you pay to the court. Instead, paying bail is like a promise that you will make your court appearances, and showing up when you are supposed to could mean the full amount of your bail is refunded — even if you are found guilty.
Being confronted with legal problems can be incredibly intimidating, which is why it is so important to understand your options. Talk with a bail bonds professional in your area to learn more about your rights when you are incarcerated, and make sure your family understands your plan.