Bailing yourself out of jail may seem like a faster way to regain your freedom. But it’s also a decision that can come with an array of caveats, as you’re about to see. Considering that most bail amounts in our area run from $500 on the low end to $10,000 on the high, that’s a pretty large chunk of change to be carrying with you! Most people don’t have that kind of money on them in cash, so bailing yourself out of jail may not be possible. However, if you are fortunate enough to have the cash, then yes, you can bail yourself out. Let’s take a look at your options to determine which route will work best for you.
What Happens When You Get Arrested?
Getting arrested happens once a law enforcement officer has determined you’re at fault for a crime worthy of arrest. This can range from less serious offenses (public intoxication) to crimes of a grievous nature (battery, rape, murder). Once you’re taken into custody by the officer, they’ll take you to the city or county jail. Here, you’ll have your picture and fingerprints taken and be booked into custody.
Once you’re in a jail cell, the bail process can begin. This consists of the following:
- You learn when your arraignment will be (usually within 48 hours)
- A bail amount is set by a judge at the arraignment
- You get the option of paying the bail amount in full or contacting a family member or bondsman to help cover the cost
How Do You Bail Yourself Out of Jail?
At the arraignment, the judge will determine if you qualify for bail. There are many factors the influence their decision, such as:
- Your flight risk
- Past criminal record
- Severity of the crime
The judge will tell you the bail amount at the arraignment if you qualify. You’ll need to pay the full amount upfront and in cash in order to get released from jail until your trial. The more serious the crime is, the higher your bail amount will be.
If you have the amount on you or can scrounge it up, then you’re free to go. However, if the amount is too high or you can’t afford it, then you’ll need to stay in jail and seek outside help from a family member or a bondsman.
The Pros and Cons of Paying for Your Own Bail
Should you bail yourself out of jail? This is a tough question with no easy answer. If you’re innocent of the charges against you, then it might make sense to try and get out so you can better prepare your defense. If you’re guilty or think you might be convicted, then it might be better to stay in jail and receive a reduced sentence.
Also, there’s the issue of accessibility. Most people aren’t going to have an extra $500-$1,000 in cash handy to spring for the bail right there on the spot. You’re almost certainly going to need to involve a friend or family member in getting you access to the funds.
When it comes to paying for your own bail, it can expedite the time to getting your release. But what you have to consider is that not showing up for your next court date, even if it’s for reasons beyond your control, will result in you losing all of that money. Not to mention, you are allocating a lot of your financial resources to your bail, instead of using it to hire a great lawyer.
When you use a bondsman, they can get you released within a couple of hours too. You won’t need to use all of your money to pay for bail. Instead, you only need to pay a small percentage of the bail amount to secure a bond. You can then use the rest of your money for your defense team or other life necessities.
Hiring a Bondsman
If you can’t afford to bail yourself out of jail, then you’ll need to seek outside help. Don’t bother your family with a loan if you don’t have to. A bail bondsman is affordable and an excellent option for bailing yourself out of jail fast.
Bail bondsmen are professionals who can help you post bail and get you out of jail quickly. The fee that you’ll pay is minimal (generally, around 10-15% of the total bail amount). From there, the bondsman will post the bail for you in exchange for the fee and the promise that you will appear at court for the next scheduled time. As long as you follow the bail rules, everything will go smoothly.
The right bail bondsmen are located close to the detention centers they serve, have a working knowledge of the courts’ system, and are in good standing so you can rest easy that your money will not be misused and your trust will be kept. Bondsmen are usually great people to start with regarding your defense as well, as many have relationships or knowledge of the quality attorneys who specialize in the types of defense that you’re going to need.
Contact Delta Bail Bonds Today
Being arrested is scary, but it’s much easier to navigate with an advocate on your side. At Delta Bail Bonds, we’ve been that way for individuals in your situation for many years. No judgment, just support. That’s what we can grant you. Contact us today to learn more or to get the process started.