Although some people are refused bail, in many cases, if you are arrested, you can be bailed out of jail to await your trial. Typically, this involves paying a fee to help ensure you attend your hearing. If you believe you may be arrested in the near future or a loved one has already been arrested, check out these five frequently asked questions regarding bail and bail bonds agents.
Is Paying Bail Always Necessary?
In some cases, paying bail isn't even necessary for release because you may be released on your own recognizance (OR). The downside, however, is you'll have to wait in jail to see a judge to determine if you qualify for OR release. To determine if you are qualified, the judge will consider the severity of the crime of which you are accused. The less severe the offense, the more likely you be released on your own recognizance. However, if your criminal history shows extensive offenses and/or missed court dates, it may affect the decision. Last, having few ties to the area (you just moved there, your family doesn't live in the area, etc.) may also affect the decision because you may be viewed as a potential flight risk.
Is Bail Money Refunded?
When you are released (with or without posting bail), the court may require you to follow certain rules, such as avoiding alcohol or attending addiction meetings. As long as you comply with the court's orders and show up to all your hearings, the bail money is refunded, even if you are found guilty. However, if you are found guilty, the court may keep some of the money to pay fines you may owe or other expenses related to the crime.
Can Collateral Be Used to Post Bail?
If you don't have liquid cash, but you have property worth a lot of money, you may be able to use it to post bail instead of money. Many people who own their own home use it as collateral, but you can also use other real estate that you own. If you own expensive vehicles or a plane, it may qualify as collateral. Last, you may be able to use expensive jewelry, but only if it's worth enough to cover the cost of bail. If you do use a smaller item to post bail, the court may seize the item until after the hearing.
Are There Alternatives to Using Your Own Money and Property?
Not everyone wants to risk their property as collateral, and even if you have the liquid cash to post bail, it may not be a good idea. It may leave you strapped for cash, and you don't want to be low on funds when accused of a crime. A bail bond agent, however, can post the bail for you. This means they take the risk, and you keep your money free to spend on a defense attorney. Bail bond agents, of course, aren't free, but they are affordable, costing you only a portion of the total bail amount.
What Are the Benefits to Choosing a Bail Bond Agent?
There are many reasons to choose a bail bond agent. Naturally, the biggest benefit is they use their money, so you don't have to. However, a bail bond agent does so much more than loan you money. They post the bail for you, which means they do all the paperwork. This often results in a faster process, which means you get out of jail faster to return to your normal life. A bail bond agent will also take the responsibility of hiring a bounty hunter if needed.
Getting arrested can be scary and overwhelming for anyone, but in many cases, you don't have to stay in jail until your trial. With a bail bond agent, you'll be able to post bail with ease and keep your money free. For more information about bail bonds, contact a company such as Steele Boys Bail Bonds.