You've been arrested, and you want to go home to rest and prepare for your trial. First, however, you need to post bail. Unfortunately, bail can be expensive, but there are ways to save money on it. Take a look at these suggestions for reducing what you pay out of pocket on your bail.
1. Bring a lawyer to your arraignment.
In some cases, bail is automatically set based on a bail schedule, and the amount of your bail is directly tied to the crime for which you have been accused. However, in other cases, bail is set by a judge at an arraignment hearing.
At this short hearing, the judge sets a date for your trial. He or she also sets your bail. To determine your bail, the judge takes into consideration the type of crime of which you have been accused and your prior convictions. Then, the judge assesses your likelihood to flee the country or leave the area, and finally, the judge sets your bail.
If possible, have a lawyer come to your arraignment. The lawyer will argue that the bail is too high and make a plea to the courts to lower the amount of bail. For example, if the court is worried that you might flee the country before your trial, the lawyer can argue that you are committed to your family and that you wouldn't jeopardize your ties to the community. Then, the lawyer may offer to give the courts your passport as reassurance. In other cases, a lawyer may argue that because you have no prior convictions, the court should lower the bail amount.
2. Post a property deed in lieu of bail.
Once bail is set, most courts give you a couple of different ways that you can pay it. If you don't have cash to cover your bail, you may be able to use a property deed instead. Many courts accept deeds for houses, land, or even expensive cars as bail. To illustrate, the Eastern District of Missouri accepts property in lieu of cash as bail, and many other areas allow this practice as well.
This doesn't directly save you money, but it allows you to hold onto your cash so that you can use it for attorney's fees, buying a new outfit for court or other expenses related to being arrested. Then, once you show up for your trial, the deed is returned to you.
In most cases, turning over something you already own such as a property deed is cheaper than borrowing money. When you use a deed, you don't worry about interest, but if you borrow money to pay your bail, you have to worry about interest and fees.
3. Work with a bail bondsmen.
Finally, if you don't have enough money to post your own bail, you can work with a bail bondsmen. Remember this is a competitive industry, and if you want to save money, you should shop around for the company with the lowest fees.
Once you find a bondsman, the rest of the process is simple. You give them a small payment. This can be a cash or credit card payment, and in some cases, bondsmen are also willing to accept property (cars, land, etc.) in lieu of payments. The bondsmen keeps your down payment, and he pays the rest of the bail on your behalf. Unfortunately, you do not get the down payment back, but compared to paying your own bail, it helps to lower the amount you have to pay out of pocket right away.
For a bail bond service, contact a company such as AA-Craven Bail Bonds.