In most cases, those who are arrested are entitled to be charged a "reasonable" bail amount. Unfortunately, what stands as reasonable varies from place to place and depends on the circumstances of the arrest. You have a couple of options to help you get out of jail if your bail seems excessive. Read on to find out more about reducing your bail and using a bail bond service to be released from jail.
Determining Bail Costs
The amount charged for bail is based on several factors that mostly concern the defendant's record and the nature of the crime alleged to have been committed. When a defendant is offered bail, a certain sum of money must be paid and they must follow certain rules about their behavior after their release. Take a look at some common issues that determine how much the bail should be:
- The bail schedule – In some locations and for some crimes, bail amounts are dictated by a schedule. The actual amount charged for bail may differ from the schedule due to certain extenuating circumstances, however, and are only a starting point for determining bail.
- The defendant's community ties – This encompasses things like employment, time lived in the area, family in the area, etc.
- Previous criminal record
- The type of crime to which the defendant is accused. More serious offenses like murder and rape may not be bailable regardless of other factors. When the crime is not bailable, the defendant must await their court dates from behind bars.
How to Handle Excessive Bail Costs
Defendants have two methods of making bail more affordable, both of which can be used together if needed. Criminal arrests call for a criminal attorney and hiring an attorney can mean someone to argue on the behalf of the accused for lower bail. The attorney will attempt to show that the defendant is not a danger to the public if released and that they will return for their future court appearances. Additionally, they will work with the state to form a deal that might include bail conditions in return for lower bail. For example, the conditions might include:
- Taking part in classes or counseling while out on bail.
- Maintaining contact with the court system by phone and/or in person.
Even if you cannot convince the state to lower the bail, you don't necessarily have to pay the entire bail cost. Bail bonding services operate to help those who cannot afford the bail to gain a release from jail. In return for the bonding company posting the bail, a percentage of the full bail is paid for the bond. The percentages vary, so phone a bail bonding agency near the jail to learn more about bail bonds and how much money can be saved using this method.