If you or a loved one has never been arrested, when it happens, it can be scary and confusing, whether you’ve been arrested for a serious crime or a minor infraction. Here are some basics on what happens when you’ve been arrested and how to get out of jail.
What is Bail?
After your arrest, you will appear in front of a judge who will look at you and your case and take into consideration things like the nature of the crime, your criminal history, likelihood that you would flee or not show up for court appointments, and whether or not you pose a threat to the society at large.
They may also refer to a bail schedule which is essentially a list of bail recommendations for specific crimes. There is no standard for bail schedules and they can vary greatly between different jurisdictions.
If you’re lucky, the judge will decide that you’re neither a flight risk nor a danger to others and will release you on your own recognizance with the promise that you’ll show up for all future court dates.
Once bail has been determined, you can take steps to get out of jail.
What If I Can’t Afford the Bail?
Most people who are arrested have trouble coming up with the full amount of the bail. That’s where bail bond agents come in.
Bail bond agents make it possible for those who can’t afford bail to get out of jail. The defendant or their loved ones pay a non-refundable premium of 10% of the bail amount (eg. $100 for a $1,000 bail), and the bail bond agent makes an agreement with the court to cover the amount of the bail if the defendant fails to show up for court.
The person that signs the bond contract is the indemnitor. This is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. If the defendant flees, it is the indemnitor’s money that’s on the line. As an indemnitor, you are responsible for making sure the defendant shows up for all court appearances.
To obtain the bond, you may be asked to put up something of value such as real estate, automobiles, jewelry―anything of value that can be sold to pay off the bond in the event that the defendant flees. In many cases, a contract with the bond company will suffice.
As long as the defendant shows up at all of the required court dates, whether the case is settled, dropped or the defendant is found innocent or guilty, all money and collateral will be returned, minus the 10% premium which belongs to the bond agent for services.
If you or a loved one is arrested, Mercy Bail Bonds can help. Mercy is a full-service bail bond agency serving Pasco County, New Port Richey, throughout Florida, and the entire U.S. Our professional bond agents are available 24/7 to get the process started and get you or your loved out of jail. Call Mercy today at (727) 856-7775. We always answer!