Some people have heard about bail time and time again but they still do not know exactly what it is about. Bail is the amount that is paid in order to get someone out of jail. When your friend or loved one has been arrested, they need to come up with bail that matches their offence in order to get released from jail. Otherwise, they would have to stay in jail until the trail is over. Sometimes you may not have an idea of how long the process will last and therefore paying bail and getting the person out of jail is necessary.
Setting the Amount
The amount of bail is set by the court. A judge knows exactly how much the bail should be for different crimes. Offences can be classified into misdemeanors and felonies. The bail amount for the latter is always higher than the former. The factors that judges take into consideration in granting, denying or determining the amount to be paid for bail include:
- The severity of the offence committed
- The criminal history of the accused, that is, whether the accused has been arrested before and for what crime
- The defendant’s ties to the community such as family or a stable job
Each of these factors either increases or reduces the chance that bail will be granted. These factors also increase or reduce the amount that you will end up paying for bail.
You can post cash for the full bail amount. This is the most common form of bail payment. If you have the money at hand then all you need to do is to present it to the bail office for the defendant to be released. On the other hand, you can get a bail bond if you do not have enough cash at hand. In this case, you would be able to put up a surety with the bail office in states where property and surety bonds are granted. If this is not possible, you would have to pay a percentage of the full bail amount to a bail bondsman. You would also need to put up collateral to ensure that you pay the full amount in case the defendant flees.
When it comes to having a money refund at the end of the trial, it will depend on whether or not the defendant honored the bail conditions. If they did, then you would get your money or property refunded. However, the percentage paid to the bail bondsman is not recouped since it acts as payment for the services rendered.
Bail payment is not something to be taken lightly. It is important to know all the facts before you post bail on behalf of someone. No one wants to lose their hard-earned money, property or valuables because the accused chose to flee. Sticking out your neck for somebody takes a lot and you definitely do not want to be burnt in the process.