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All You Need to Know About the Cost of Bail

If a loved one has gotten into a scrape with the law and ended up behind bars, you’re likely familiar with the bail process. But even having been through the process of arrest, booking, charging and bail being set, you might still not understand why it happens or why the seemingly arbitrary amount of money is reached. This is how it happens and why.

What is bail: Bail is the amount of money defendants must post to be released from custody until their trial. Bail is not a fine. It is not intended to be used as punitively. Bail is returned to defendants when their trial is over, in some states minus a processing fee.

Purpose of bail: Bail exists as a mechanism to ensure that defendants will appear for trial and all pretrial hearings for which they must be present while otherwise being allowed to be free and mount a defense of themselves against the charges being alleged.

How bail is determined: Bail is determined in one of two ways. By a judge or magistrate during a bail hearing or, more recently, by a bail schedule that is based on an algorithm that weighs details about a person’s life & criminal history and uses these factors to reach a decision as to bail amount. Some jails will use a simpler, more low tech bail schedule that assigns bail amounts for a number of common crimes. When a person goes before a judge or magistrate, that person may be released on his or her own recognizance (without a payment of money) on the promise that they will appear for all hearings and for trial. This is usually done if defendants have a steady job, roots in the community, or other personal circumstances indicating that they will not flee.

Why hire a bail bondsman: When a defendant can’t come up with the amount of money they need to bail out of jail, they will typically make arrangements for their release through a bail bonds-person. In return for the defendant putting up a percentage of the total bond, usually around ten percent, the bonds-person will guarantee the remaining amount to the court should the defendant not be present for any court appearance.

When being accused of a crime, it is extremely important that you be able to move freely and mount the strongest possible defense. Here at Martinez Family Bail Bonds, we care about helping to give you the best chance possible to beat your case and get home to your loved ones. Call us today and let us show you what we can do to help.