Don’t Plunk Down Cash!
The first action after being charged and arrested for a crime is to be booked and sent to jail. In most cases, bail is set automatically, or a date will be set for a bail hearing where it will be decided whether a flight risk exists if the individual is a threat to themselves or society and for a bail amount to be set.
Bail is a specified amount of money that needs to be paid to the jail, court or county to secure the release of a person from custody until their scheduled trial date. Should the person flee or not appear in court, the amount of money becomes forfeit unless the person is returned to jail within a certain period or makes their next court appearance.
It is often more beneficial to use bail bonds to post bail on behalf of the jailed person. Here’s why.
1. Bail Amount
Most people who have been arrested simply do not have the funds available to cover the bail amount and often rely on friends and family members. This can result in family disputes down the line, and it is advisable to rather use an objective third party like a bail bonds man to post bail. A bail bondsman is also more likely to provide bail in a large amount that friends or family cannot afford.
2. The Cost
A bail bonds Agent will charge a fee which is due upfront before they will post bail and is normally calculated as a percentage (We charge 10%, the state minimum in Ohio) of the total bail amount. This percentage is most often much lower than the interest rate charged for a personal or another type of loan.
3. The Time Factor
It can take time for a loan to be approved or for family and acquaintances to come up with the bail amount. It will also take time to liquidate any assets to accumulate enough cash to cover the bail.
This will mean more time spent in jail until the bail amount can be paid. It may also lead to an investigation into the financial affairs of a charged suspect who is suddenly able to come up with bail, especially in a large amount. Findings from this investigation may be used as evidence in court to support the charges brought against the suspect. A bail bondsman, on the other hand, will have the funds readily available to secure the immediate release of the jailed individual.
4. The Risk
If someone pays bail on behalf of another person and this person does not appear for their court date, they do not have the resources to locate and return the bail offender. This means that they are more likely to lose the full amount of bail that they paid. However, a bail bondsman does have these resources and will do their best to locate and return the individual to jail to recover their funds.
The bail bondsman carries the full risk for the amount of bail that has been posted. However, they do have the right to pursue the offender to recover the amount that they have lost due to their non-appearance in court. The offender will be held liable to pay the full amount to the bail bondsman if they are ever located.
5. Expertise And Knowledge
Bail bondsmen are experienced with dealing with the arrest, charging, booking and bail process. Most people simply don’t understand how this process works or what happens next. This can lead to delays in bail being posted, paid or the quick release of an individual from jail.
There are many reasons why release on bail is so important and is, in fact, a constitutional right of an individual. Most significantly, jail can be a dangerous place to be, and injury, assault or bodily harm can result. Quick release also enables a person to continue working and earning an income as well as to plan a defense with the assistance of a lawyer or legal team.
While a lawyer or legal representative can visit their client in jail at any time, it is inconvenient, and it is simply easier to plan a legal defense while out on bail rather than from behind bars.