Unless you have been through the criminal justice system in the past, you might not be familiar with the bail process. Bail is designed to allow defendants to continue their everyday lives while awaiting trial. Before bailing out, though, it is important to understand the basics of it. If you have a loved one in jail, here is what you need to know about the bail process.
What Is the Difference Between Bail and a Bail Bond?
When your loved one is arrested and appears before a judge, he or she will receive a bail amount. The bail is the full amount that has to be paid in order for your loved one to be released. Regardless of the outcome of the case, the amount paid for release would be returned when the case is concluded. An administrative fee might be deducted from the amount.
If you are unable to pay the full amount, you can secure a bond. The bond allows you to pay a percentage of the bail set so that your loved one can be released from jail. The bond amount is non-refundable.
If you opt to pay the bail, it is good for the entire time it takes to resolve the case. However, if you opt for a bond, there might be a time limit. If the time limit is reached before the case is resolved, you might have to pay a fee to continue the bond.
Should Your Loved One Opt to Stay in Jail?
Some people choose to stay in jail rather than pay the bail or secure a bond to get out. Whether or not this is in the best interests of your loved one is entirely up to him or her, but choosing to be released has is advantages.
For instance, while your loved one is bailed out, he or she can work on improving his or her image. He or she can get a job, enroll in school, or do other activities that can help to make the case for why a charge should be reduced or the punishment lightened.
Getting out of jail also helps to ensure that your loved one does not accidentally say something to another inmate or jailer that could be harmful to his or her case. Boredom could lead to your loved one confiding in the wrong people.
Consult with a bail bond service to learn other facts about the process of which you are not aware. You can use that information to decide whether or not it is the right move for your loved one's situation.