It can be disturbing when a friend calls you from the local jail asking for help. You want to help your friend, but you may not know where to turn. Bail is not something people think about until they need it. Then, it can be extremely confusing. For some help in figuring out what type of resource to use when a friend calls from jail, read below.
What Is Bail?
Bail is a court-ordered release from jail. Bail can be costly in financial terms and may not be a guarantee. If you are offered bail, the amount is based on the seriousness of the charges, the record of the defendant (your friend), and the potential for the defendant to flee the area. Bail is based on the idea that you must return for a future court appearance.
If you pay the court, or sometimes, the jail, your friend could be released in a few hours depending on the workload at the jail. They will need to sign a lot of paperwork informing them of the consequences if they don't obey all bail conditions. Usually, bail conditions include staying out of trouble by not being arrested again. Also, defendants are advised not to carry weapons, contact witnesses or alleged victims, or hang out with convicted criminals.
What Is a Bail Bond?
Bail can be expensive regardless of the situation. However, you might want to consider taking the less-expensive route and speaking to a bail bonding agent. Bail bonds are an alternative to paying bail to the court. You pay the bail bond to the agency, and they will get your friend out of jail. It takes about the same amount of time as paying bail to the court and your friend must obey the same rules as bail imposes.
The most obvious advantage to using a bail bond over paying bail to the court is the cost. Bail bonds cost a percentage of the full bail. For example, if your friend's bail is set at $10,000 and the bail bonding agency charges a 15% premium fee, you can get your friend out of jail for just $1,500. So, bail bonds are a lot less expensive, and buying a bond achieves the same goal of getting your friend out of jail.
Bail bonding agents are eager to work with those who need help. To find out just how affordable your friend's bail bond might be, speak to a jail bail bondsman for more info.