A drink too many before climbing behind the wheel, a missed court date, a run-in with an illegal situation; all of these things can land you behind bars. While you have the option of waiting things out in jail until your scheduled court date, most states allow you to post bail and get out right away. When it comes to money matters and handing over money to the court system to get out of jail, you may have a lot of questions. Here is a look at some of the questions you probably have about bail money and the answers you need to know.
Why do you have to pay bail to get out of jail?
The court system created a bail system as a form of insurance that allows those in jail to get out in certain situations. When the person in jail pays the bail requested by the court, they are giving a payment as assurance that they will return to the court on the scheduled date. If that person does not go back to court, they are forfeiting the money they paid to the court system. Not all states have bails and bonds, and every state that does has different rules in place. However, the basis of paying bail and the reasoning behind it is the same.
What does it mean if a bail bond needs to be exonerated by the court?
In order to get the bail money back once it is paid, the bail bond must be exonerated by the court. All this means is that the bail must be released by the court because you have fulfilled your side of the deal by returning to see the judge. In some states, your bail money will not be immediately released to you as soon as you go to court. It can take days or even weeks for the exoneration process to be completed.
Do you still get the bail money back if you have fines?
In most cases, no. If you have to pay bail and the court system has charged you with fines, those fines may be deducted from your bail money before it is returned. This will not always be the case, however. If the fines you owe are through a different court system or are relative to restitution, you may be responsible for paying those charges on your own outside of the bail money you have already paid.
When was the last time you realized you were in the red financially? Although most people don't think about their finances on a day to day basis, it can be easy to find yourself living paycheck to paycheck if you aren't careful. I began thinking carefully about the financial implications of some life decisions I was making, and I knew I had to make a difference. I talked with a loan officer about getting things together, and he was instrumental in helping me to work things out. Read more about my financial successes and failures on this little website. You might be able to avoid some of my previous mistakes.