Getting a phone call from your loved one, informing you that they are currently detained in jail is one of the worst feelings in the world. There are a lot of things that might run through your mind: What are the charges against them? Do the authorities have any evidence? Is it legal to detain an innocent person? Can you bail them out?
You must understand though that under the law of the United States, all individuals, who have been accused of a crime, have the right to bail; however, if the judge believes that the accused has a high tendency of skipping bail, they may continue to detain the individual. In most cases, however, bailing your loved one out of jail is possible through several methods.
What Type of Bail Does The Court Accept?
Bail can be in the form of cash or its equivalent that a court accepts and in return, they will allow the accused to remain free until the case is closed. The bail guarantees the attendance of the accused in all the court appearances. There are several methods to posting bail, and this includes the following:
- Cash: This means paying the full amount set by the judge. For instance, if the judge set bail at $1,000, you can pay the amount in cash.
- Bail Bonds: Another method is to purchase bail bond from a bail bond agency. The agency will charge a non-refundable premium which is 10% of the full amount. The bail bond agency will lose 90% of the bail if the accused fails to show up in court; however, they can track down the individual and send them to jail again.
- Property: You can also post bail by providing collateral that is worth at least the full amount. For instance, if a thousand dollars is needed for bail, you can use your fancy watch as collateral. There are even family members who use their property as collateral.
Steps To Get Your Loved One Out Of Prison
- The first thing you need to do is to present your ID and the identification number of your loved one who is currently detained.
- Determine the amount of bail. The judge is the one who will set the amount of the bail, which will vary from one accused to another. The judge will determine the bail based on several factors, such as the criminal history and flight risk of the accused.
If you believe that the amount is too high for you, you may request to lower the amount. You can do this after the arraignment. In addition, your lawyer can also attend the bail-setting hearing to help during the negotiation.
- If you cannot afford to post bail through cash or credit card, you can look for a reputable bail bonds company. By doing so, you can obtain the assistance of a bondsman who can post bail on your behalf for a premium fee. You also have to know that some bondsman require collateral.
- Meet with the bail bond agent, pay the bail fee, and sign the bail bond contract. The agent will then post the bail bond at the court where your loved one will appear for his court trial. The court will then notify the police regarding the cleared bail. After all these, your loved one will be released from police custody.
If the bail bond agency asks for collateral, you must consult with your lawyer before using your property. You also have to understand that if the accused skips bail, the agency or the court will have the right to foreclose and auction off the property you put up as collateral.
- Nevele Otseog.”Immigration Reform Leaders”. May 2, 2010. Online Image. Flickr. March 01, 2013
License: Creative Commons image source
Kris Lim is a writer for law firms and bail bond agencies, such as Bail Bonds Direct. She offers tips and tricks on how to bail someone out of jail.