If you have a loved one who has been arrested, you may be called upon to post bail to release them from jail until the time of their trial. The only problem? Bail can be expensive. Depending on the severity of the crime, past infractions, standing in the community, and other factors, the judge in your loved one’s case may choose to set a very high bail that you can’t hope to pay on your own.
If this should happen, your best bet may be to work with a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman is a professional who will post bail on your behalf for a small fee—a percentage of the total bail amount. The fee paid to your bail bondsman is non refundable, unlike the bail amount itself. However, it is significantly smaller.
Here is the process you can expect to encounter when you bail someone out of jail with the help of a bail bondsman.
Arrest & Booking
By the time you receive the phone call informing you that your loved one needs help, the arrest will have already happened, and the booking may be over as well—but it might still be underway. Arresting and booking someone is a lengthy process and can take several hours to complete. While this is happening, you might begin researching typical bail amounts applied to the crime for which your loved one has been arrested.
At the bail hearing, a judge will be presented with the facts surrounding your loved one’s case. The judge will then decide on a bail amount, which will need to be paid for your loved one to get out of jail until a future court date.
In some cases no bail will be set. In the case of minor crimes where the defendant is a first time offender, they may be released on their own recognizance, with no fee required as long as they pledge to return for all court dates. In other, severe cases, or where the defendant is deemed a flight risk, the judge might choose not to allow bail.
Contact a Bail Bondsman
Reach out to a bail bondsman if the amount of the bail payment is too much for you to meet on your own. Your bondsman will charge you a small percentage of the total, dramatically reducing the amount of money you need to come up with to secure your loved one’s release. A good bail bondsman will also be able to answer any questions you have about what’s next for you or your loved one as you go through this process.
If you have a loved one who has been through an arrest, contact us. We’ll get to work helping you out.