Being arrested and spending time in jail is something that most people try to avoid at all costs. However, mistakes happen and you may find yourself in this situation. If you are placed in jail, chances are you will want to be released as soon as possible. In some cases you may be let out on your own recognizance on the promise that you will be present at your future court dates. In other instances you may need to post bail. If you are unable to pay the bail upfront, a bail bondsman can help. Here are three things that you should know about bail bonds.
Bail Amounts Can Vary
The first thing that you should be aware of is that bail amounts can vary depending on your criminal record and what you were arrested for. Judges are responsible for setting the bail amount and by law bail cannot be excessive. Today, many courts use specific formulas that factor in your age, criminal history, and other information to calculate bail. You may also be able to pay your bail without seeing a judge if the jail you are in has a bail schedule that sets the price of bail for certain common crimes.
The Cost of a Bail Bond
If you are unable to afford your bail, you do have options. One option is seeking out bail bond services. A bail bondsman can loan you the amount you need in order to make bail and get out of jail. In order to get a bail bond, you will have to pay a fee equal to around 10 percent of the cost of your bail. In some cases 10 percent can end up being hundreds or even thousands of dollars. There are other fees that may also come along with a bail bond including fees for not showing up to court.
Collateral May Be Required
In the case of high dollar amount bail, you may also have to put up collateral when getting a bail bond. In many instances a bail bond company will require property such as your home, car, or jewelry to be used as collateral. You may also need to have a friend or family member act as an additional guarantor. In the event of you not showing up to your court day, this property will be seized in order to recover the costs associated with your absence.
If you need a bail bond, there are a few things that you should know. First, bail amounts can vary drastically depending on your record and what you were arrested for. Typically you will pay a fee equal to 10 percent of the cost of the bail in order to take out a bail bond. Collateral may also be required depending on the bail amount and whether or not you are a flight risk.
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