Get Out of Jail Free: Reducing the Amount of Bail You Have to Pay
Whether you are arrested for a petty incident or a grave offense, everyone goes through the same procedure to get bail. Bail is intended to be a financial motivation for the defendant to attend court proceedings to resolve the case, and is a right of every person regardless of the crime. If you find yourself in a situation where you or someone you know requires bail, the following tips will help you reduce the amount you spend on bail bonds.
Reduce the Amount of Bail by Turning Yourself In
If there is a warrant out for your arrest, fleeing the police will only make you a flight risk. In the eyes of the law, avoiding your arrest makes it appear you will try to flee as soon as you are on bail. The amount for the bail bond will be increased accordingly. Turning yourself in makes you more reliable and reduces your bail amount.
Do Check: How does Bail Work
Pay the Bail Yourself
If you are in jail and have the cash to pay the bail, it is best that you pay your bail yourself. Bail is almost always returned wholly, so you stand a chance of getting all your money back, as opposed to the fees you would have to pay to a bondsman. Be aware that the bond refund may take time, and factor that into your decision. Only pay the bail if you can afford to have that money held in court for a long period of time.
In case you decide to pay a bondsman to pay your bail, you can negotiate the fees for the bond. Bonds are contracts, and like any contract, there should be a relationship of trust between the people who are signing it. When dealing with your co-signer and bondsman, make an effort to be cooperative and calm. This will assure the bondsman that you will honor the court dates, and he may charge you a lower fee.
Select a Strong Cosigner
A strong cosigner, who ideally has property in the area and is well established, will help you get a lower fee from your bond agent. If the bond agent can see that the cosigner will be able to cover costs if the defendant flees, his risk is lowered and he may offer a better price.
Choose the Right Type of Bondsman
There are two types of bondsman that issue bail, and you can select the one that has the lower fees. The first type has no personal assets of his own, and the bond risk is covered by an insurance agency. In such an arrangement, if the defendant flees, the insurance agency will pay the bail. The fees for such a bondsman are fixed at 10% by law.
The other type of bondsman has assets that are pledged to cover the costs of bail if the defendant forgoes the contract. Such agents charge variable fees that may be lower or higher than 10%. You can get a good price for your bond if you negotiate with this type of bondsman, as he is not under legal restrictions on his price.
Francis Derek is a successful bondsman, with extensive experience in Long Beach bail bonds. She uses her experience to blog for Bail Bonds Direct, and advises defendants on issues regarding bail.