When a loved one is arrested and sent to jail, it is natural that the first thought on your mind will be how to get them out. Getting a loved one out of jail can be stressful, especially if you are not familiar with the bail bond process. That is why it is important to get the facts about bail and bail bonds so you can effectively help your loved one get out of the situation they are in.
1. The Legal System Sets the Bail Amount
When a loved one is arrested, they will be taken to the local jail, and they will be booked on the charges they were arrested for. How bail is set depends on what they were charged with and the legal process in that jurisdiction. In many areas, to streamline the bail process, there is a bail schedule that is used. The bail schedule sets the bail amount for certain crimes so that one can pay the bail before going in front of a judge.
That said, one can always wait until their bail hearing. At the bail hearing, the judge will listen to your individual circumstances and use that to determine if the bail schedule amount is fair in this situation or if the amount can be lowered or recovered altogether.
2. Bail Is Legal Motivation
The bail amount that is set for your loved one is not about punishment; it is about motivation. The bail amount is supposed to help motivate your loved ones to show up for court when they are let out of jail. Not showing up for court for their case can result in their bail being revoked, which means losing out on all that money. Additionally, once one's bail is revoked, so is their freedom, which means going back to jail while awaiting trial. Bail is motivation to stick to the terms of one's release and show up for court.
3. A Bail Bond Is a Loan
Not everyone has the cash to pay the full bail amount on their own. Bail bonds are there to fill this void. A bail bond is a loan. The bail company provides you with a loan that they pay directly to the courts on behalf of your loved one to get them out of jail. As with all loans, you will have to pay a fee for the bail bond loan. State rules and laws dictate the fee amount.
Also, as with all loans, you will have to put up collateral if you don't pay back the loan. With a bail bond, you pay back the loan by your loved one showing up for court until the case is resolved and the bail company gets their money back. If your loved one doesn't show up for court and the bail is revoked, you will lose the collateral on the loan, as it will be used to pay the bail company back the money they lent you.
Reach out to a bail bond service to learn more.