When a person is arrested and booked into jail they often have to wait for a judge to determine their conditions of release. If a judge does not release a person on their own recognizance or grant them a conditional release, then monetary bail will usually be set. The purpose of bail is to address public safety concerns and insure that the defendant will return for future court dates. This post will discuss the options arrestees have in posting bail.
If a judge has set bail you have two options to secure your release from jail pending your next court appearance: (1) You, a family member, or friend post the entire bail amount in cash; or (2) Pay a bail bondsman a fee, typically 10% of the total bail amount, to post your bail. One advantage to posting the entire bail amount on your own is that the money posted will be returned to you once the case is resolved, so long as you make all of your court appearances. If a person fails to appear for a court appearance they risk having any money posted for bail forfeited.
However, people often do not have the ability to post the entire bail amount on their own, in which case they may seek out a bail bondsman to post their bail and get them out of jail pending their next court appearance. Bail bondsmen will post bail or a bond in order for a person to be released once the bondsman has been paid a fee for their services. Bail bondsmen often charge a fee of 10% of the total bail amount, and will sometimes require some form of collateral to insure the remaining bail amount in case the person fails to appear for court.
So, if bail is set at $12,000, a bondsman will generally charge a fee of $1,200 to post the bond. The obvious advantage to using a bail bondsman in this scenario is that a person is not required to come up with nearly as much money in order to get out of jail. However, the disadvantage is that the $1,200 fee they paid will not be returned to them at the end of the case, whereas if they were able to post the entire $12,000 bail on their own they would generally get all of that money back at the end of the case so long as they made all of their court appearances.
If you have been arrested and are facing a bail hearing, a criminal defense attorney can fight on your behalf to prevent any bail from being imposed, to lower the amount that is ordered, or to try to get conditions of release imposed in lieu of bail.
If you, or a loved one, are facing a criminal charge of any kind, contact The Law Office of John J. Leunig at 952-540-6800, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for a free consultation. The lawyers at The Law Office of John J. Leunig provide vigorous, intelligent and personalized representation to people accused of crimes in State and Federal courts.