Nobody likes being arrested and thrown in jail. It’s even worse to be behind bars when you haven’t yet been convicted of any crime. In fact, it’s downright unconstitutional to be held without proper reason. Remember, one of the primary tenets of our justice system is “innocent until proven guilty.”
Fortunately, through bail, pretrial release from jail is 100% possible for most defendants (bail is still up to the discretion of your pretrial hearing judge). However, that begs the question: Should you hire a bail bondsman or pay your own bail? Well, to help you make a decision, let’s weigh the pros and cons of each method in detail. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Can You Afford Your Bail Amount?
The amount set for your bail is completely up to the judge presiding over your pretrial hearing. They can set it high or low, and the choice is there’s alone to make.
Unfortunately, most pretrial judges set bail at such a high amount as to be unaffordable to the general public. They do this to help prevent defendants from skipping bail (running from the law before their official trial is held). Since bail doesn’t have an upper limit, the chances of you affording the entire cost upfront is minuscule.
If you determine that affording your own bail is impossible, then don’t fret. You can always contact a bail bonds company for assistance. Typically, bail bonds companies charge a total of 10% of the total cost of your bail to get you out of jail.
Bail Bonds Companies Reduce Risk
Using a bail bonds company helps reduce flight risk and can help reduce your risk of financial strife. For example, if you were to pay the entirety of your bail on your own and, for whatever reason, you wind up missing a court date, then you’re out all that money. If, however, you went through a bail bondsman instead, you’d wind up in contempt of court, but you’d only be out the 10% fee.
When You Pay Your Own Bail, All The Responsibility Is On You
When you pay your own bail, all the additional responsibilities associated with it will fall on your shoulders alone. While that may not seem like such a big deal, remember that the bail process is multi-faceted and extremely complicated. Besides the challenge of navigating the process alone, you’re still responsible for every other legal issue associated with the crime you’re accused of.
However, you don’t have to do things alone. In addition to bailing you out, most bondsmen have access to legal resources you could only come up within your wildest dreams. Many bail bonds companies work directly with law firms to help provide their customers with the best possible legal help around. Additionally, bondsmen make the entire bail process much easier on the defendant by handling the tedious paperwork and helping remind you of your obligations to the legal system.
In all honesty, paying your own bail is never recommended. Using a bail bondsmen or bonds agency goes a long way towards making the bail process both affordable and as simple as possible. You’ve got other things to worry about, after all (like handling your case and making the proper legal arrangements for your upcoming trial). So, don’t risk it. Just hire a bondsman and be done with it.