It may come as no surprise but getting arrested can be an expensive journey. Whether dealing with costs of bond, hiring a lawyer to defend you in court, or just even the basic fines and fees that will be added on, an arrest will definitely cost some money. There are a few ways however that could potentially limit the impact and hopefully help the financial burden be less strenuous. Here are some things to keep in mind.
See if you might be eligible for a public defender
Depending on what type of lawyer you go for, hiring a lawyer could potentially be the largest cost you will have to deal with, aside from bond, with most lawyers charging hundreds of dollars an hour. If you already know that you don’t have the financial resources to pay this much then it would definitely be in your best interest to apply for a public defender. Despite assumption, public defenders are not just automatically assigned to anyone who wants them nor are they always free but when you apply, they will take into account the financial impact it will have on you and if you are making below a certain threshold, if you qualify then they will assign you a public defender at no cost or at least a very subsidized amount.
Work with a bail bondsman
When a judge sets bond, it is almost always set in the thousands and in some cases from high risk cases, if they are offered bond at all, it can even be up into the millions. For the vast majority of people, it is next to impossible to pay the entire cost of bond upfront which is why bail bond agencies are so helpful. When you work with a bail bondsman you are typically only going to need around 10% of the bond cost and even with that, there are various payment plans and methods to help afford the cost. This is the difference for most between being able to move on with their lives or staying in jail for potentially months. There is one key point that has to be made though. When you pay a bond upfront, you will eventually get that money back, minus fines and fees, if you show for your court date. It will just take several months for that to happen. With a bail bondsman, that 10% will not be refunded since it is considered the service cost for using a bail bond service. So while it may actually cost a bit more in the long run, working with a bail bondsman allows much more affordability when you need it.
Follow all the rule
The final thing that can save a ton of money is to just do everything possible to stay in a good place with bond conditions and avoid anything that could potentially get you rearrested. Violating conditions can land anyone right back in jail with more charges and in turn more fines and getting rearrested while out on bond could potentially not only land you in jail again but keep you there if the judge decides not to offer bond again. It is vitally important when released to just avoid anything that could cause any trouble or further costs.
To sum up, while there is no way around having to use some money when it comes to an arrest, there are ways to hopefully mitigate the financial blow overall.