If you ever find yourself (or a loved one) in jail awaiting trial for a crime, posting bail will allow you to get out and live your life until your court date. Depending on the accusations against you and your criminal history, your bail may be anywhere from $50 all the way up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. If bail is more than you can afford, there may be other ways to get out of jail. Here are the top four ways to avoid paying bail.
1. Hire a bail bondsman to post bail for you. The most common way to avoid paying bail is to find a bail bondsman who will pay it for you. For a small fee (usually about 10% of the total amount of bail), a bondsman will post your bail, allowing you to get out of jail until your trial date. For larger bail amounts, you may be required to put up collateral in addition to your fee. If you choose this option, don't miss your court date. Failing to show up in court gives the bondsman permission to keep your collateral and send a bounty hunter to arrest you.
2. Ask to be released on your own recognizance. In many cases, the judge may allow you to simply sign a statement promising that you will show up in court on a certain date. Your chances of being released on your own recognizance are greater if you meet some or all of these conditions:
If these conditions describe your situation, you should ask the judge if a "release on your own recognizance," or ROR, is an option for you.
3. Post a property bond. In some cases where a defendant cannot afford to post pail or hire a bondsman, the court may allow a property bond. This bond allows you to pay for your bail with property you own that is equal to or greater than the amount of the bail. If the property is portable, the court may confiscate it. If not (a home, for example), they may request the deed to the property. Again, be sure to show up for all scheduled court dates so that your property or deed will be returned to you when all proceedings are complete.
4. Ask for a diversion. Finally, depending on the crime of which you are accused, you may be able to request a diversion. This is basically a release from jail to another program, such as drug rehabilitation facility or probation. While these types of programs limit your freedom to a certain extent, you'll still be better off than if you were sitting in a prison cell. Taking advantage of a diversion may allow you to visit with or live with your family and attend school or work. More importantly, you'll be improving yourself while you await trial. In fact, enrolling in one of these programs could even convince the judge to reduce your sentence if you are convicted.
Posting bail doesn't have to drain your bank accounts. You can use bail bonds, RORs, property bonds, or diversions to get out of jail free (or nearly free) and continue down the game board of your life. Remember, you are always innocent until proven guilty, and you deserve to be able to live a normal life while you await trial. If you ever have questions about bail, visit http://absolutebailbond.com/, and be sure to contact a lawyer, bail bondsman, or trusted friend or family member before making any decisions.
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