Putting forth a large amount of money to post bail for someone can be a stressful event. These questions are ones that many people in your situation have, and knowing the answers can help to put your mind at ease about how the whole process works.
How is the Bail Amount Determined? Can It Be Lowered?
Bail amounts are generally fairly standard within a court. The court may have a bail schedule that outlines common crimes and the bail amounts to be set. Of course, the courts will look at extenuating circumstances. They may lower the amount for individuals with limited financial resources who are proven to be an important and connected part of their communities. On the other hand, bail may be set higher for repeat offenders who have been hard to work with in the past.
The amounts are often not set in stone, however. If you have received a bail amount that you are unable to pay, you may be able to approach the judge to have the fees lowered.
Can I Pay Upfront?
If you are able to put up the cash to post bail upfront, this can be a great way to go. Your bail amounts will be held by the court until the completion of the trial, when you will be refunded the amounts minus any processing fees.
How Much Will it Really Cost Me?
In addition to the processing fees that come with any bail posting, there may be some other administrative fees as well as interest charged, if you received a loan from another source. You might also need to pay some penalties if the trial was rocky. For instance, missing a court date may carry financial penalties that come straight out of the bail down payment.
What if I Don't Have Enough Money?
For many families, the costs of posting bail upfront are significant. If you don't have the money or don't want that amount of cash to be tied up in the judicial system, bail bonds companies are the best option. They often give you a number of ways to put down collateral for the bail loan, and they can be a great resource for understanding the whole bail and trial process. A bail bonds company will make it easier to understand your options for posting bail, such as surety bonds and other offerings, so that you can smoothly get your friend or loved one out of jail.