What Are My Options If I Can’t Afford Bail?
If someone is accused of committing a crime, the odds are likely that they’ve been arrested and will be taken to jail. While in jail, they will be fingerprinted, identified, and taken to cell for holding. If you’re someone who’s ever been arrested before, then you know how imperative it is to get out as soon as possible. It’s not a comfortable place anyone wants to stay in for any length of time. The truth is, you don’t have to stay there if you haven’t been convicted yet.
In the United States, our Constitution tells us that we’re innocent until proven guilty. If you haven’t had your day in court and haven’t been found guilty of a crime, even if there is overwhelming evidence against you, you’re still innocent. It’s not until the jury reads their verdict and the judge casts his or her sentence and bangs the gavel are you found truly guilty. So, what happens in the meantime?
The wheels of justice in our country move quite slowly. There are often many months or even years worth of waiting for your case to make it to trial. This does depend on the individual court system itself and how booked up they are with pending trials. If you’re innocent until proven guilty, what are you doing sitting in a jail cell waiting for your day in court? You don’t have to wait out that time behind bars, you can be released to await your trial with the help of a bail bondsman.
One option you have if you’ve been arrested is to post bail. Again, you are innocent until proven guilty, so they cannot hold you until your trial comes. At the same time, the court needs to make sure that you show up at your hearing. There are plenty of people who are given a trial date and simply take off, never to be heard from again.
That’s where the court offers what’s called bail. If you pay a certain amount of money, you can be released from jail during the time you’re waiting for your trial to take place. The amount of bail the judge decides usually depends on the crime committed. There are different types of bail available as well. More violent crimes, if there’s a risk to flight, and other major crimes usually will incur a much higher bail amount. The difference can be thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The record for the highest bail amount set is over $100 million.
What If You Don’t Have Any Money for Bail?
Most people don’t have thousands of dollars sitting in their bank account they can use to post bail. That means you may be asking how you can get someone out of jail with no money or how to bond someone out of jail. If you don’t have the money that the judge is asking for, you do have options.
The first option is, of course, the option you don’t want. You can say that she’ll sit in jail until your trial date. The second option is usually what most people do. They go to a bail bondsman who essentially offers to pay their bail for them. The bail bondsman will put up the money on your behalf. If you make it to your court date, that money is refunded back to whoever paid it. If you don’t make it to your court date, then the person who posted the bail is usually out of the money.
This is why a lot of bail bonds companies will hire bounty hunters to go out and find people who have skipped out on their bail. They will do whatever it takes to get their money back, so they take extra measures to make sure you make it to court. That means you should never go to a bail bondsman if you don’t plan on sticking around. It won’t be a good situation for anyone involved.
Is Going to a Bail Bondsman Right for Me?
If you don’t want to sit in jail and wait for your trial, the only other option, other than begging the judge not to set any bail at all, is to pay it. If you don’t have any money nor know of anyone who can loan you a large amount of money (on the promise they’ll get it back), getting help is the only way to do it. The only thing it will cost you is their fee. Most bail bondsmen charge around 10% of the amount needed.