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Three Myths About Bail Bonds

When you or someone you love has been arrested, emotions can run high. Instead of getting concerned and worrying about “worst case” scenarios, educate yourself about the bail process.

Here are three myths about bail debunked.

1. If a family member can’t pay your bail bond, you stay in jail.

Although a family member is allowed to post the money required for your bail (if any), you can also have friends take care of this for you.
The basics of bail are fairly simple. You are innocent until proven guilty, so after your arrest, the court must gather evidence to convict you of wrongdoing. Likewise, you are allowed to obtain a lawyer to defend you. Bail is a document that states you can be set free on the condition that you will return for your court date(s). You may have to pay a certain amount of money for bail as a deposit of sorts. This increases the likelihood that you will return to court if there’s a good reason why you may not want to.

A family member or friend that pays the amount requested for your bail bond is called a guarantor. This person is responsible financially if you do not come back to court for trial (of course, you are also legally responsible for deciding not to return, too).

2. There is no rhyme or reason to bail amount.

This is untrue, too. The court has many reasons for setting bail at the amount they choose to set it at. One factor in determining bail is the severity of the crime. If a crime is very minor, there may not be any money required for a bail bond. If the crime is more serious, the amount can be hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Also, the court may consider the evidence, as well as your general character and past criminal record when determining bail amounts.

3. You have to come up with the whole bail amount.

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about bail and bail bonds. The only time you have to come up with the total sum requested for bail is if you “skip” bail, or do not show up in court when you are required to. If you do what’s asked of you, typically only ten percent or so of the total amount needs to be paid to the bail bond agent.

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March 25, 2012 um 7:56 am
Miscellaneous Finance
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