Did you know that there are currently 14,000 bail agents working in the U.S.? Although it?s easy to see bail as something only ?career criminals? need, in truth, many people will find themselves in a situation that requires bail — whether it?s due to a DUI allegation or something else. In one year, about 12 million people will be processed through jails across the U.S. — and the U.S. has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world.
If you find yourself in trouble with the law, it can often feel like your world is falling apart. And in some ways, it might be. However, there are some proactive steps you can take to keep your life together and try to stay out of jail. Here are a few tips.
Hire an Attorney From Day 1
It can be tempting to go with a public defender if you don?t feel like you?re guilty of the crime you?ve been accused of (or, if you don?t believe there?s enough evidence against you for a crime you did commit). The reality is, though, that there is a world of difference in the type of defense you?re going to get. Public defenders are heavily overburdened and will only devote the bare minimum of time to your case, if that. A lawyer may be expensive, but sometimes paying off a loan for a few years is worth it if means you won?t be spending two years in a jail cell.
Why do You Need Bail?
Once you?ve been accused of a crime, the court date does not occur right away. It may be many weeks — even months — before you see the inside of a courtroom, even in the case of fairly serious crimes. In order to ensure that you do come back for your court date, the court will set a bail amount. This is money you will get back once you show up for court, and it?s a fairly high amount so that fleeing would be very difficult for you. So to answer ?why do you need bail?? — you?ll want to be able to continue with your normal life in the meantime.
A bail bond agency will pay this amount for you so that you don?t need to take out a loan, borrow from your parents or against your mortgage, etc. A bail bond company will typically ask for 10% of the bail processing fee — so, if you are required to pay $10,000, you?ll need to give them $1,000. While this amount may seem high, bail bondsman take on considerable risk. If you don?t show up to your court date, they could be out the entire amount.
Have you been accused of a crime recently — why do you need bail? Let us know.