Being arrested is a traumatic experience, especially if you’ve never been arrested before. One of the most pressing matters you’ll have to consider is how you will get out of jail. There are a few ways this can happen.
Many people will have to put up money or assets to secure their release, so they don’t have to wait in jail until their case goes through the criminal justice system.
#1: Bail versus bond
The court will issue a bail for most criminal charges. The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution forbids excessive bail; however, some bail amounts are still considerably high. Most people can’t afford to pay tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to get out of jail. Those individuals can turn to a bail bondsman to secure release. A bail bondsman charges a certain percentage, usually 10% of the bail, plus a fee to secure the person’s release.
#2: Being released without bond
It’s possible to be released without having to post a bail in some cases. This is usually reserved for people who aren’t facing serious charges and who aren’t considered a threat to the community. Instead of having to post bail, you’ll have to sign a document that states you’ll show up for all the court hearings you have for these charges.
#3: Court appearances
What happens to your bail money depends on how the bail was posted.
- Directly through court: Money and assets are returned to you at the conclusion of your case.
- Through a bail bondsman: Nothing is returned at the conclusion of the case.
If you don’t appear for your hearings, a warrant is issues for failure to appear. You can lose the money or assets you put up. If you used a bail bondsman, they will come looking for you. There may be a bounty hunter sent after you because the bondsman would have to put up the full amount of the bond to the court if you don’t appear.
When you learn that you’re facing criminal charges, working on your defense strategy is crucial. Having someone on your side who can help you to learn the options is beneficial.