In the United States, many defendants are incarcerated in the detention facility simply because of their inability to pay the required bail amount. Typically, these inmates were charged for minor criminal offenses only.
And if you are one of the inmates who doesn’t have the means to post bail, here are the possible options for you to consider:
Request to Lower Bail Amount
Your defense attorney or bail bonds agency can petition to reduce the bail amount; however, they need to prove that the amount is excessive and unreasonable. It is still at the judge’s discretion whether to lower the bail amount or not. Depending on the court’s procedure, the defense attorney must make this request during the bail hearing.
Hire A Bail Bondsman
The defendant needs to pay 10 to 15 percent of the total bail amount as the service fee to the bail bonds agency. In return, the bail bonds agency will pay the full bail amount to the court on behalf of the defendant. The bail bonds agency will take responsibility for the defendant’s obedience to the bail conditions in order to avoid forfeiture of the bail money.
Using valuable property, such as real estate, a car, or any valuable property, can be used as collateral to post your bail. It may be easier than liquidating your assets to pay cash for your bail. If you are offering your house or any large property as collateral, the court will take the deed or title on their possession. On the other hand, smaller property like jewelry will need to surrender to the court until the case resolution.
Release on Own Recognizance
There are times when the defendant doesn’t have to pay the bail amount to be released before the trial. This type of bail is called release on own recognizance. The defendant only needs to sign an agreement stating that he promises to attend all court proceedings involving his case. Typically, the judge allows release on their own recognizance for a defendant who is not a flight risk, has been charged with a minor case, or if the jail has a limited inmate capacity.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU CANNOT POST BAIL?
The purpose of bail is to grant the defendant a temporary release while awaiting trial. It will let the defendant go back to his old life while ensuring that he/she will follow certain bail conditions. However, if the defendant has no means to pay the bail amount, he/she will spend some time in jail until the case concludes. The duration you need to spend in prison might be within weeks to months, depending on the court’s busyness and procedures.
WHY IS BAIL EXPENSIVE?
The bail amount is intentionally expensive to make it challenging for the defendant to settle. According to the statistics, out of 730,000 incarcerated individuals, most of them are sitting in prison because they are awaiting trial but not yet convicted of a crime. It could only mean that many of the inmates could be innocent.