As much as we would like to believe that the law is on our side, that’s not always the case. People get arrested all the time for the dumbest of reasons. Worse, given the way that poverty gets criminalized in certain areas, those who most need the ability to pay for their bail cannot. So, they end up languishing in prison.
Fortunately, a bail bond can help those who don’t have the luxury of hundreds or thousands of dollars lying around get out of jail and back to their lives. What is a bail bond, and how does it work? Here’s what you need to know.
First, Let’s Examine How Bail Works
Technically, until you’re proven guilty of a crime, you don’t have to remain in jail. However, like most things in America, freedom isn’t free. At least, not in terms of money. So, when you’re arrested for a crime, the judge will set bail for a certain amount based on your criminal history and other factors.
However, bail can get really expensive, and most Americans don’t have thousands lying around to pay for bail. That’s where a bail bond can save you.
What Is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond is a type of surety bond. It means that the bail bondsman you work with fronts the cost of your bail, stating to the court that you’re good to show up on your court date. A bail bond allows you to pay for someone’s freedom at only ten to thirteen percent as a non-refundable service fee.
A bail bonds service can save someone from the psychological and financial impacts caused by time in prison. However, this doesn’t mean that they are without risk.
Are There Risks to Getting Bail Bonds?
Before you start searching for a “bail bondsman near me”, you need to ensure that you know the potential risks. If you spend too much money on a bail bondsman at the outset, you may struggle to afford a proper criminal defense attorney down the line. It does you no good to buy someone’s initial freedom, only for them to face conviction.
You may also be able to negotiate with the judge to avoid needing bail at all. Especially if you have no prior criminal history and the charges you face are minor ones. However, you cede all rights to that sort of negotiation once you’ve footed the bill for a bail bondsman.
Let’s Review the Facts About Bail Bonds
Getting a bail bond can feel like a “get out of jail free” (or at least a severely reduced price) card to someone facing arrest. However, it’s not always in your best interests to drop that kind of money up front. Make sure to negotiate as much as you can with the judge and your lawyer before you decide to pursue any leads about affordable bail bonds.
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