Finding yourself in trouble with the police for the first time is always enough to make you want to see a psychologist. The humiliation of getting served an arrest warrant, for one, is such a mind-numbing experience.
Psychiatrist Neel Burton, MD, explains, “When we are merely embarrassed, our status claims are not undermined—or if they are, they are easily recovered. But when we are humiliated, our status claims cannot so easily be recovered because, in this case, our very authority to make status claims has been called into question.”
No matter how calm the officers are or how small your offenses may be, the fact that you need to get detained tends to scare you out of your mind. And if it happens in a public setting or right outside the house where all your neighbors can see, you may feel too ashamed to go back to that place even after clearing your name.
Nonetheless, what may be more anxiety-inducing that getting arrested is posting bail. The process refers to paying a specific amount of money so that you can leave prison as soon as possible. Of course, it is only possible if your violations do not include killing someone, trafficking people, or selling drugs. But even if you know that your case is bailable, your family members or friends who may try to get you out of jail may find the paperwork too daunting.
So, in case you have a run-in with the police or have a loved one who has asked you to post bail for them, you need to understand the whole concept.
Everything You Need To Know About How Bail Works
Getting in trouble is more straightforward than getting out. This is the case every single time. If you have done something unlawful and somebody files a criminal charge against you, you will get arrested and have to stay in jail. The length of your stay there, however, depends on how grave your crime is, and if you are allowed to post bail before or after you meet the judge in court.
How bail works is different. “Currently, in most jurisdictions, a judge assigns bail for defendants charged with a crime,” explains Terry Kupers, MD, discussing the connection between the justice system and mental illness in prison. He adds, “A person who is affluent enough to afford bail will be released, and all those unable to afford bail remain in jail until they are tried.” Before coming out of jail, you can opt to either provide a cash bond or a bail bond. The former means that you will pay the amount in full, while the other is a whole different story.
What Is The Purpose Of Bail Bonds?
The intention behind the bail bonds is to let the arrestee out of his or her cell without giving out cash immediately. Not everyone has a lot of extra funds available for such occasions, so they won’t be able to pay the cash bond. Yet, they can contact a company that specializes in bailing people out, and then sign a surety bond with them. This bond is a written assurance that the person being accused will be present during the case hearing.
Bailout works only when the court accepts the bail bond.
How Does Bail Bond Work?
The truth is that it is much safer to allow the professionals to post bail on your behalf. The defendant, a friend, or a family member can strike a deal with a qualified bail agent. Such kinds of agents are plenty in California and other states – it will not be hard to find one. Before a bail gets posted by the agent or the company, you must provide them with a material thing that has a value. It can be a land title, a vehicle, a house, or anything that has worth. The bond seller holds the right to ask you for a “collateral” so that, in case the defendant does not show up, they can get this collateral as a financial interest.
Thus, the deal will lead to the creation of a surety or bail bond, which states that the defendant will not try to hide from the law and will attend all the arranged court appearances. If this person, unfortunately, cannot come to the court or refuses to, the people who have their signatures signed on the agreement will need to give the exact sum of the bond to the court.
How Much Does It Cost?
Anyone can purchase a bond, but they first have to pay the bondsman a specific non-refundable premium. Its usual amount is 10% of the total bail. Nevertheless, there are some instances – like when your attorney refers you to a bail agent that he or she knows – in which this can be reduced to 8%. Before you sign an agreement with someone, therefore, you should figure out all of your options to avoid paying more than you should.
How bail works is not like a complex mathematical equation. You only have to stay true to your word that you are willing to cooperate with the law to solve the problem and that you will not be running away from your obligations.
Criminal behavior expert Stanton Samenow, PhD, wrote, “…a criminal evaluates others in order to avoid consequences of his own irresponsible conduct.” He explains that, “There is a significant difference between a person who has a challenge to surmount such as facing poverty not of his own making and a criminal who impoverishes himself by his own irresponsible choices.”