When you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense, there is a chance that you’ll be “bonded” out or “bailed” out of jail. To someone outside the legal practice, it is easy to assume the two terms mean the same thing even when they’re used interchangeably. Even though their sole goal for both is to provide temporary freedom, they don’t mean the same thing. The distinction is subtle and will water down to the type and source of money that is involved. The question of who and what is securing the freedom of the defendant will also come into play.
As you might now buy now, bail is defined as the monetary value that the defendant has to pay in order to secure release from jail. The amount will be forfeited if the defendant doesn’t appear in court. When the defendant is able to raise the money, he or she is bailed out of jail. In the event that they don’t have the cash, this is where the bond will come in. It will involve getting in touch with a bail bonds company.
Bonds can be described as the money paid by the bail bond agent to secure the release of the defendant. The defendant can secure such a loan provided they have collateral such as a car or a house. A company like ApexBailBonds will take care of the paperwork on all the technicalities involved in paying bail on behalf of the defendant. The bail bond company will in most cases pay a portion of the amount to the court and will only pay the rest when the defendant fails to show up in court and completely disappears. The court has no qualms agreeing to such an arrangement as the defendant will lose the property.
How Much Can You Expect to Pay as Bail?
The amount you pay as bail will entirely depend on the court. There are other variables that will also determine the final figure. If you’re a repeat offender, you’re likely to pay more compared to someone that has been arrested for the first time. The severity of the offense could also determine the bail amount set by the court.
When you’ve been arrested, the first thing you’d want to know is the amount you’ll be paying as bail. You might end up spending the whole weekend behind bars if you’re not able to see a judge. Some policemen use this tactic to keep criminals in jail because the courts don’t operate over the weekend.
According to the Eighth Amendment, it is illegal for a person to have an excessive bail set against him or her. The interpretation of this law is that bail shouldn’t be seen as an alternative to be used by the state and federal government to raise money or to be used as a punishment when someone is arrested. Even with the Eighth Amendment, there are judges that will set high bail amounts to discourage the defendant from thinking about getting out of jail. In case you find yourself in such a predicament, it is crucial that you’re getting in touch with an attorney that can help with negotiating the bail amount.
How Much Will You Pay For the Bail Bond?
Since you’ll be securing a loan from the bail bond company, there is a fee that you’re expected to pay. Most bail bond agents will set the amount to 10% of the bail amount. Once the payment is processed, the agent will also pay the court a portion of the money and will only pay in full if the defendant disappears.
There are different options for posting bail and they include:
- Paying the amount in cash or check
- Signing over property
- Being released on your own recognizance
You should always opt for being released on your own recognizance if it is available because it means that you’ll not have to pay for anything. It is rare for the court to grant such an option and the majority of defendants will have no choice but to buy a bail bond. Getting a bail bond should be a last resort when there are no other options.
Getting a Bail Bond Company
If you’re unable to raise bail on your own, there will be no other option but to work with a bail bonds company. There will be a lot of options to choose from even if you narrow down to those that are based in your locality. The first thing you’ll want to make sure of is that you’re looking for a company with an established reputation. You don’t want to settle on the first agent you come across as desperate as the situation might look like. Research the number of years that they’ve been operational and if there are any complaints against them.
When using a bail bonds company, you can expect to be charged a fee in order to secure your release. Research on the different rates offered by bail bond agents so that you’re not overpaying for the service. Your attorney could also refer you to a reputable bail bond company so that you don’t have to worry about going through the research process. You’ll still need to work with a criminal defense attorney either way and why should you wait until after getting out of jail before you start searching for one?
Posting Bail Vs. Working With Bail Bond Company
Getting your money back after posting bail could have complications. There could be paperwork and that would be the last thing you’d want to go through when you’re done with the courts. That is why it is usually recommended that you’re looking for a bail bonds company to help in securing your release. It will also be a no-brainer when finances are tight and you need to get out of jail as soon as possible in order to start preparing for your defense. Doing due diligence is mandatory so that you’re getting a reputable agent.