When you are under arrest, the first thing that crosses your mind is how to stay out of jail until the time the trial begins. It means that you are keen to avail of bail, which is a commitment given to the court in monetary terms to abide by the bail conditions so that it covers the risks and the court agrees to free you. If you ask – can you bail yourself out of jail then the answer is yes and no. Depending on the bail amount and your financial capabilities, and access to other financial resources, and assuming you can gather quick money, you can obtain bail by paying the bail amount set by the judge or as stated in the bail schedule available with the police.
Opting for bail bonds
However, arranging your bail by paying cash is not possible in most cases because the bail amount can be so high that garnering quick funds while you are in custody can be a daunting task. An easier way is to seek help from a third party like a bail bond company that can issue a bail bond instead of paying cash and makes the process easier and faster. The bail bondsman acts as a surety of the defendant and carries all risks by assuring the court that the defendant will abide by the bail’s conditions and appear at the court on a future date as directed. The bail bonds used for criminal cases are criminal bail bonds, and there can be civil bail bonds.
Why should you choose a bail bond?
Bail bonds are popular because it entails less money, and engaging a third party licensed to underwrite bonds is easy. Unlike paying the full bail amount by cash, bail bond agents agree to issue bail bonds by accepting only a small part of the bail amount, usually 10-20%. They can smoothly execute the process in the shortest time to ensure the fast release of the defendant. While issuing the bond for lesser cash, the bondsman would ask for collateral security to make up for the balance amount. The bondsman might involve the defendant’s relatives and friends for assistance to cover the bail amount. Sometimes full collateral together with additional cash payment might be necessary.
The onus is on the defendant
Although securing early release should make defendants happy, they must be aware of the downsides of jumping bail. Failing to appear at the court will not only result in forfeiture of the entire amount paid for the bail bond, but it will also result in the seizure of the collateral. Moreover, the person may face fresh arrest and be on the run, which only invites more trouble.
Most bail bond agents have a license and operate as underwriters of insurance companies when executing bail bonds. Bail bond companies carry many risks because their clients are mostly unknown, and the bondsman must keep a close tab on the person to ensure that they do not violate the conditions.