What Can You Do If You Can't Afford Bail?
Bail Bonds Waterbury, CT
When you get a call from a loved one in jail, you need to know how to bail them out. We understand that bail can be a confusing and intimidating process if you’ve never been through it before. You want your friend or loved one out of jail as quickly as possible. Following the bail process and connecting with the right people can make that happen.
There’s no need to panic if you have the right information and work with the best bail bond agent. Follow these steps to post a bond for someone in jail!
What Happens After Arrest?
When police officers arrest someone, they take the person to jail for booking. However, depending on the time of day, the booking process, and how quickly you can arrange bail, your loved one might not have to spend much time in a jail cell.
During booking, jail officers take photos, fingerprints, and file charges for the offense. Your loved one can make a phone call to let you or a lawyer know they’ve been arrested and need your help to bail out of jail.
Following the booking process, your loved one goes through an arraignment. A judge listens to the charges and decides bail for your loved one.
In most cases, a judge will award bail after an arrest. If the offense is a serious felony, your loved one has multiple offenses, or the judge determines that your loved one is a flight risk, the judge might set a high bail amount. In extreme cases, a judge can decide a defendant cannot receive a bail offer for release.
Before a defendant’s court date, a defendant has the options to:
- Stay in jail until the trial (even with an offer of bail)
- Pay the full amount of the bail to the court
- Find a bail bond agent to arrange the bail payment
A court date can take place weeks or months after an arrest. If the judge awards bail, there’s no reason for your loved one to wait in jail until the trial. If you can’t afford the full amount of bail to pay for their release, a bail bondsman can help!
What is Bail?
Bail is the exchange of money or collateral for the temporary release of a defendant from jail. However, it’s not a “get out of jail free” pass. While your loved one is out of jail on bail, they still face the charges of their arrest. They must comply with the conditions of their bail release to remain out of jail until their trial.
The judge can offer one of several types of bail as a conditional release:
- Cash-only. In this case, the only option the court accepts is payment-in-full. You will need to pay the court with cash or a secure payment method, like a debit or credit card. With a cash-only bond, a bail bond agent will not be available for help.
- Surety bond. With this option, the court requires a minimum downpayment of 35% of the total bail amount to release your loved one from jail. A surety bond allows you to use a third party bail bondsman to arrange bail on behalf of your loved one.
- Recognizance. When the judge offers release on the defendant’s recognizance, there is no bail amount. They can leave the jail until their court date, as long as they comply with the conditions of temporary release.
Using a bail bondsman for a surety bond helps you act quickly when you don’t have the funds on hand for the bail payment. The agent pays the 35% minimum amount to the court. You pay that amount plus a 10% fee to the bail bondsman for their services.
Find the Right Bail Bond Agent
Paying the minimum bail downpayment amount can still be expensive—especially when you need to act quickly and come up with that amount of money right away.
Choose a bond agent that offers a payment plan to ease your immediate financial impact while posting bail for your loved one. Make sure your bond agent is available when you need them! Not all arrests happen during the day or on a weekday. A bond agent that can be at the jail right away can help get your loved one home sooner.
A quality bond agent will walk you through the bail process and meets you at the jail where your loved one awaits release. As soon as the court completes the details of the defendant’s bail release, the bonding agent posts bail right away, and the jail releases your loved one.
Gather What You Need
Time is of the essence when bailing someone out of jail. When you receive a call from a loved one in jail, make sure you collect some basic pieces of info to give to your bond agent:
- The name of the person in custody
- Their birthdate and social security number (if available)
- The defendant’s address (if possible)
The bond agent also needs to know where your loved one is and the bail amount, if you can get that.
To post bail through a bail bondsman, you’ll need to provide the 10% fee and have a cosigner available. Your bond agent might also require some form of collateral until you arrange a payment plan for the minimum downpayment posted by the bondsman.
When your loved one complies with the conditions of their bond release and shows up for their court date, that fulfills the terms of the bail. In most cases, the court refunds the amount you paid toward the bail release. However, you won’t receive a refund of the 10% fee you pay to your bonding agent for their services.
We Can Help You Post a Bond For a Loved One!
In Connecticut, the court must establish a defendant’s bail within 48 hours. Liza Davis Bail Bonds is available 24/7 to respond quickly when you need to post a bond for a loved one in jail. We’ll walk you through the process and get your loved one home as soon as possible. For immediate help, call us at 860-818-7078.
DO YOU NEED BAIL? WE ARE AVAILABLE 24/7!