Anyone who has been arrested has a constitutional right to bail. If a loved one has been arrested, there’s no reason they need to sit in jail for days or weeks before they have their trial. In the United States there is a presumed innocence until proven guilty, and using the right to bail is an important part of this. Choosing whether or not you want to use a bail bond company comes down to a few factors: your available funds and assets, your confidence that your loved one will show up for court, and your comfort level of dealing with the bail process.
Here are some basic pros and cons for using a bail bond company or paying for bail yourself.
Using a Bail Bond Company:
- Lower costs up front. The full bail amount can be expensive. Using a bail bond company makes it possible for you to only pay a percentage of the amount.
- Quicker release. The bail bondsmen are typically more readily available to post bail, which means your loved ones would be released from jail sooner.
- Expertise. It’s unlikely that you’re well versed in the bail process or legal process in general. Bail bondsmen are experts and they can provide support and resources throughout the process.
- Non-refundable fee. The percentage of the bail that you pay to the bail bondsmen is a non-refundable fee, even if your loved one appears in court when they’re supposed to.
- Collateral. It varies case by case, but often to use a bail bond service the client must provide some sort of collateral to secure the bail bond. This can be in the form of property, cars or other assets.
- Risk of loss. If your loved one doesn’t follow through with their end of the bargain and show up for court as required, the bail bondsman will have to pay the full bail amount– which can result in the loss of your collateral.
Paying for Bail Yourself:
- No fees. You’re only paying for the amount of bail itself, and not paying any fee to a third party.
- Full refund. Since you’re the one paying for bail, you’re the one that gets the full refund, eliminating the middleman.
- No collateral required. Since you’re not working with a bail bondsman you won’t have to put up any collateral in order to secure the bail.
- High upfront cost. Since you’re the one paying for bail, you have to pay for it all upfront, on your own.
- Longer release time. Typically it takes a bit longer for a loved one to be released from jail if you’re paying for bail rather than a bail bondsman.
- Limited knowledge. Unless you deal with bailing loved ones out of jail on the regular, there are a lot of questions and things to navigate when dealing with bail and the legal systems. If you’re on your own, you’re on your own.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to take on paying for someone’s bail or hiring a bail bondsman. Only you are fully aware of your knowledge, resources and capacity for dealing with this type of situation. Just remember that it is your loved one’s right to post bail. They do not need to sit in a jail cell while they wait for their trial.
If you have questions on what we can do for you and your loved one, don’t hesitate to contact us.