When someone is sent to jail, a judge may set a bail price that can get that person out of prison. The bail amount often varies depending on the nature of the crime, and it can be thousands of dollars. Many people do not have the money to pay for a bail out of pocket, and that’s where bail bonds come into play. It’s up to personal choice whether or not you decide to pay the bail, and you have to calculate if taking out a bail bond is worth it. Here’s your guide to bails, bonds and everything you need to know about them.
What Is Bail?
Bail is an amount of money set for certain crimes that can get people out of jail until their court date. The money is refundable and is simply used to guarantee that the defendant will return to court on their assigned date instead of fleeing. As long as that person shows up to court, their money will be refunded. If you are given bail, but you don’t have the cash to pay for it, you can take out a bail bond. Some cases that are considered flight risks are not given the option of bail and must stay in jail until their court date.
What Is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond is a type of agreement set up between the courts and a bail bond agent PA on behalf of the defendant. Basically, the bail bond agent signs a written document stating that the defendant will show up to court on the date of their trial. This allows the defendant to be released from jail without paying for the full bail out of pocket. However, the bail bond agent usually takes 10% of the bail amount up front and may require collateral in terms of other assets from the defendant (such as property and stock) in case the defendant fails to show up.
The bail bond system is designed to help those in jail, but it often negatively impacts and disproportionately affects those of low-income. A bail bond can put people in difficult situations if they cannot pay the bail at all, and it has led to mass incarceration in the United States. If you need help after being accused of a crime, consider talking to a lawyer to discuss your best options and see if posting bail through a bail bond is the right choice.