It can be stressful to get a phone call from a spouse, friend, or relative who has been arrested and wants you to bail them out. Before you agree to pay for or arrange for someone's bail, here are three things you may need.
Cash to Pay Their Bail
When someone you know is arrested, they are taken to jail until they can get a court date with the judge. Sometimes their court date may be several days or weeks away. When that person has a family, job, and other responsibilities they need to take care of, they cannot take care of them very easily while they are in jail. For this reason, the court sets a bail amount to be paid so the individual can be released from jail until their court date.
If you want to bail someone out of jail, you will need to pay the entire amount of their bail to the courts. Their bail amount depends on the accused crime and other factors. Expect to pay for their entire bail up front before they can leave jail. You can usually pay the bail to the courts with cash, check, or a credit card. Keep in mind if you will be responsible for hiring legal services for the jailed individual, you will need the funds available to hire legal representation, so budget wisely.
Confidence and Trust in the Person in Jail
When someone is in jail, it is because they have been arrested for breaking some law and are being held until their court date. If a friend or relative of yours asks you to post their bail, it is important that you know if they are reliable enough to go to their trial date and not skip town, so you don't lose your bail money. When you bail someone out, you are taking responsibility for them to make sure they appear in court.
If you are not sure about an individual's criminal history, it can be hard to make a determination on paying their bail. Someone who has a lengthy criminal history and may even have skipped on their bail in the past may not be worth it for you to pay their bail. As an example, many courts today are using mathematical algorithms to calculate an individual's bail. They consider items, such as their age, current charges, any past history of failing to appear in court, employment status, substance abuse history, and other information on their criminal record.
A computer program considers and calculates all their information to score them a rating of their risk to determine if they qualify for bail and how much it is set at. Then, the judge uses the rating to make a decision in their case. It may be helpful for yourself to use the same logical reasoning to decide to post bail for someone else.
Knowledge You Can Lose Your Payment and Collateral
If you decide to hire a bail bondsman to post bail to get someone out of jail, you are not going to be responsible for paying the entire bail amount, as this is covered by the bondsman. Many people usually hire a bail bondsman to help them with bail because they cannot afford or finance the entire bail amount. However, you will have to pay a non-refundable seller's fee for the bond, which is usually 10 to 15 percent of the total amount of the bond.
When you hire a bondsman, you may also be required to give them a financial interest in your own valuable property as collateral, which can depend on the amount of the bail and the bondsman's contract requirements. Some types of collateral you can use for the bonds can include property, your home, a bank account balance, vehicle, jewelry, and firearms. It is important to remember if the individual you are bailing out skips out on their bail and doesn't show up for court, you will lose the personal property you signed over as collateral on the bail bond.
Use this information to help you bail someone out of jail. For more help, you could try here.