What to Do When You Can’t Afford Bail

picture showing how you can afford bail

Have you found yourself in the position of having to pay the court for your or a loved one’s release from jail? In the unfortunate event that you find yourself facing jail time following an arrest, it is pertinent that you pay your court ordered indemnity if you wish to avoid incarceration. Not everyone can afford to do this. So, what do you do when you can’t afford your bail? The following article will go over some of the options available to you when this happens.

Consider Putting up Property
In some cases, the court may accept some form of belongings to cover your release from custody. These belongings can be anything with a monetary value equivalent to your bail amount. Most defendants, or their close ones, will put up items such as deeds to homes or land, vehicle titles, or valuable items (jewelry, televisions, etc.). These items will be at stake of repossession by the court only if the defendant fails or skips any of his or her court dates.

Enlist the Help of a Bail Bondsman
Bail bondsman, like those that work for The Bail Pros, base their practice in paying to get defendants out of jail. When you cannot afford your bail out of pocket, seeking the assistance of a bonding company is a viable option. During your arraignment, a judge sets your bail, and when you conclude your trial, the court refunds the money. A surety agent is willing to cover your release money because they know they will get their money back, unless of course something goes wrong.

These companies do not work for free, however. Generally, they will ask for payment that is a percentage of your bail amount. For example, if a judge set your bail at $5,000, a bondsman will likely offer their services for 10% of that amount. In this case it would cost $500. This agent will not refund this fee when your trial ends.

Using a surety like a bondsman comes with a promise that you will adhere to all your court dates. If for any reason you miss or skip these dates, the court may issue a bench warrant and keep the bail agent’s money. Because it is not within their interest to lose their money, there are several things the agent may do. In some states, bonding companies have the legal right to hire a bounty hunter to track down and return delinquent defendants to jail to avoid having to pay the court. The company may also seize control of collateral the defendant signed over. Whichever the case, the surety company will attempt to withhold from paying the bail in these scenarios.

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