CopTalk: Bail

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Bail:

You get arrested for spousal abuse. You are booked at the County Jail and the booking Deputy tells you that your bail is $75,000.00

Your ticket to getting out of jail until the first court date is to come up with $75,000.00 bail money. 

Bail gives you the opportunity to get out of jail while at the same time offering some form of insurance to the court that you’ll show up for the proceedings. Show up for court and the bail is waived.

Most people can’t afford to come up with that kind of money on short notice. Especially for an unplanned event in life such as being arrested. Then enters the Bail Bondsman.

A Bondsman will charge you 10% of the bail amount and post a bond for the remaining amount with the court, which insures you’ll show up. The catch here is you lose the 10% that you put up front. If you fail to show for court, the bondsman gets stuck for the bill. So on $75,000 bail, you pay the bondsman $7,500 to get out of jail, go to court, and you’re $7,500 poorer, for the opportunity to have gotten out of jail to sleep in your own bed.

If you fail to show up in court, THE BAIL BONDSMAN WILL COME AFTER YOU.  And a lot of times when that happens, it’s much more unpleasant than when the cops come after you. 

Bondsmen are a unique breed. They take almost anything for collateral if you don’t have the cash. I’ve seen distraught family member’s sign over the deeds on their houses, so that their deadbeat drug using son or daughter can get out of jail. They take pink slips on vehicles, deeds on houses, and anything of value that will insure they will get their money.

There are some crimes that have a mandatory No-Bail hold where a bail release is denied. Crimes that are extreme in nature, that would pose a threat to public safety if a subject were to be released, or if the arrested person poses a “Flight Risk”. In other cases if you’ve already failed to show for court on a previous matter, the judge will have issued a No-Bail arrest warrant meaning bail is not an option. You WILL be appearing in court!

  • So, if the crime allows for bail to be posted, you can be released on a specified bail amount.
  • If you cannot afford the bail amount, using a Bail Bondsman is an option but you’ll lose the 10% of the bail amount for the bondman’s services. Don’t show in court and you’re in serious…..
  • If you get arrested for more than one crime, bail amounts for each crime can be “stacked” (added together) making it almost impossible to come up with the amount.
  • Parents. We all love our children, but give this some serious thought. You have a 25-year-old son who can’t keep a job, can’t stay off drugs, and is a repeat criminal offender. Your intentions are good in wanting to put up your house as collateral for your son’s release on bail. But look at the track record your son has displayed. Consider the consequences you’ll be paying for your son’s mistake, when he doesn’t show up for court. The key word here is your son’s mistake, not yours.
  • If you fail to show for court on any matter, the Judge may issue an arrest warrant. The warrant can be cite-releasable, can post a bail amount, or if the Judge wants to see you bad enough the warrant can be a “No-Bail” warrant. Believe us when we tell you that it’s not worth letting things get this far.

If you have any questions about a bail related issue, you can call a local bail bonds company listed in any phonebook, or you can call your nearest County or City Detention facility. Not the local Law Enforcement Agency, but The Local Detention facility. There is a difference.

Just so you know, most Cities with a population exceeding 100,000 are required to have a staffed jail facility run by the Police department. A Police department in a small town, or a smaller City with a population of under 100,000 will have a working Police Department with a “Booking Jail” used primarily for short term stays. If someone will be in Custody for more than a few hours, these subjects are usually booked at a County Jail Facility run by the County Sheriff’s Department.

That’s why I suggest when calling to inquire about a bail amount for a Family member or a friend, Call the Jail or Detention Facility in your area, as compared to calling the Law Enforcement Agency that made the arrest. You’ll get faster and often more accurate information by doing so.         

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