Once you’ve been booked into jail, you will be scheduled on a court docket and appear before a judge. At this appearance, the judge will set bail for you. Bail is simply an amount of money you have to pay to be released from jail and is intended to ensure that you appear for your future court appearances. The amount your bail is set at depends on a variety of factors, including the nature of the charges against you and things about you that decrease your likelihood of not appearing such as your stability (job, family, housing security), how long you have lived in your community and the strength of your connections to it. If you are able to pay the bond, you will be released that day.
Consequences of Not Posting Bail
But what happens if you can’t pay your bail? Unfortunately, if you can’t post your bail, you’ll be in jail until your trial. While you’re entitled to a “speedy” trial, it still might not happen for months or even much longer depending on the facts of your case, and during that entire time you will be held in jail.
Being stuck in jail can have devastating consequences for your life. It is likely that you will lose your job, and with that the ability to maintain your housing. It costs you valuable time with your family and, especially if you are the main breadwinner, can remove financial stability from their lives.
Even if you are acquitted at trial and escape without a criminal record, getting back on your feet after your case is resolved can be exceedingly difficult if you remained in jail pre-trial. How do you explain the huge gap in your employment? What about a rental history with a hole in it? Landlords can be reluctant to rent to people who do not have a consistent rental history. If you owned your home and lost it to foreclosure because you could not pay your mortgage, now your credit is damaged, and you may not be able to purchase a home in the future.
Contact A Bondsman
The good news is that there are people who can help you during this trying time. While sitting in jail might save you a little money, it also means not being able to be with your family or go to work. Bail bonds help you post bail for a marginal fee. As long as you make good on your court appearances, you don’t have anything to worry about. If you’re struggling with making bail, contact us for more information.