For many people, needing help to bail a person out of jail is their first introduction to the criminal court system. The bail process can be confusing and costly when navigating it on your own, but having the right attorney can assist you in obtaining an immediate release from jail at the lowest possible cost to you. At The Law Office of Charles B. Smith, we know that time is of the essence. That is why we work hard to help and can often times save you thousands of dollars as we assist you in the bail process.
When a person is arrested and is booked into jail, they can be held in custody until their case is resolved. Practically speaking, this means a person can spend up to 90 days in jail just waiting for their trial.
There are several ways to post bail and we are more than happy to explain your options, represent the client at their hearing, and/or refer you to a well respected bail bondsman. Below you will find some additional information about bail or bond options.
Cash bail is when an amount of cash equal to the amount of bail is deposited with the court. If the client is present at all court hearings as required by the judge, at the conclusion of the case all the money is returned in full to the person who posted bail.
With a bail bond you are essentially paying a fee to the bail bondsman guaranteeing that the client will be at all court hearings as required by the judge. The cost of the bond is typically 10% of the bail amount (for example, if bail is set at $10,000 then the bond will cost $1,000) and is non-refundable. Because the bail bondsman becomes personally responsible for the defendant attending all hearings, oftentimes they will require collateral equal to the bail amount to insure the promise to appear in court is kept.
With a property bond, real estate such as homes, condominiums or vacation property can be used as security to guaranty the clients appearance in court. The real estate collateral must be worth at least two times the amount of bail (for example, if bail was set at $250,000 then the property must be equal in value to, to or exceed, $500,000). This process can take up to 7 business days to acquire the necessary documentation, but can actually be the most cost effective method when dealing with extremely high bail amounts.
Own Recognizance (O.R.)
Of all the options listed, this is the one that has no financial cost to the client. In this case, if the judge decides that the client is neither a flight risk nor a danger to society, the client can be released on their promise that they will attend required hearings. A failure to appear in court will result in being remanded back into custody and the judge either setting a bail at that time or making the defendant remain in jail until trial.