4 Common Misconceptions on How Bond is Set and Paid
In the event that you’re arrested, you might experience several different emotions. One of them is fear because you’re unsure of how long you’re going to have to stay in jail or how you’re going to get out if you’re given a bond. There is quite a bit of information that has been circulated about bond amounts as they relate to certain crimes and how much you need to pay before you’re released.
1- Paying the Full Amount
One of the most common myths surrounding bail bonds is that you have to pay the entire amount that’s set by the judge before you’re released. The purpose of a bond is to help you get out of jail as soon as possible while paying as little money out of your pocket as possible. After finding out what your bond amount is from the court, you can begin talking with bail agents or have family members and friends talk to bail agents to find one who is the least expensive. A certain percentage of the bond amount, usually 10 to 15%, would need to be paid so that you can be released. Make sure you go to court on your set date as your bond could be forfeited and a warrant for your arrest issued if you don’t attend.
2- Cash or Nothing
Another common misconception is that you need to have cash to pay a bondsman. Most agents will accept credit and debit cards as well as titles to personal property, such as cars and even homes. Some of them will accept jewelry and other valuables as long as the items are of the same value as the bail amount that’s needed. Talk to the agent to see what your options are before you give up on getting out of jail and going home to be with your family.
There are usually standards that are already set by the court that dictate how much each bond amount is for each type of crime that’s committed. Other factors that are usually considered are your background and if you have connections to the community as it could be a bit harder to get a lower bond amount if the court feels that you could run. A bail bondsman is not able to negotiate with the court to get a lower amount. That’s usually something that’s left to an attorney or yourself.
4- Serving Your Sentence
You might think that it’s a better idea to stay in jail to serve your sentence than trying to post bail to get out. If you know that you’re not guilty of the charges or you’ve been arrested for a misdemeanor, then it’s usually better to try to get out of jail so that you can go home and work and do the things that you need to show the court that you made a mistake when you were arrested. In the event that you are guilty, getting out of jail can offer a way to spend time with your family and to get other tasks completed in case you’re sentenced to jail.