People make mistakes, and once arrested, you want to get out of jail as quickly as possible. Every year, more than two million people enter into a contract for a bail bond, but not everyone understands the pros and cons of bail bonds. Knowing the pros and cons can help you to decide if this would make sense for you.
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Pro #1: Helpful for Those without the Cash
Anyone who can’t pay the full bail amount can use a bail bond to secure their discharge. Most bail bonds cost 15 to 35 percent of the actual bond. Many will offer you alternative payments like cash collateral, such as a lien on a car.
Con #1: Minimum Bail Bond Payments
Most bail bond companies will charge a minimum fee on the bail bond, such as $100. Let’s say that your bail amount sits lower than $1,000, such as $500. If you had to pay 10 percent on this bond, it would cost you $50. However, because they set the minimum at $100, you will need to pay at least $100 to receive the bail bond.
Pro #2: Open 24/7
Usually, bail bond companies will keep their shop open 24/7, which allows you to get the bond whenever needed. The bond agents will work hard to have you released from jail as soon as possible.
Con #2: Cannot Refund the Fees
Unfortunately, they never refund the bail bond fees. Let’s say that you had to pay 35 percent of the bond. You don’t receive a refund on that amount when you show up to court. Instead, you should think of these bonds as opening the door to your freedom, but they do come with a cost.
Pro #3: Coordinates with Criminal Law Attorneys
Many bail bondsmen will coordinate with a criminal law attorney to fight your case, and they may know of a reputable one that can help.
Con #3: Not All Bail Bondsmen are Reputable
Some bail bondsmen will head straight to work to secure your release, but not all of them do this. To mitigate the risk, only deal with licensed bail bondsmen. Some will take advantage of your situation to charge you more money. Any bail bondsman that doesn’t request you to fill out paperwork may not be the best choice since this is standard practice at all reputable bail bond companies.
Pro #4: Cheaper Than Cash Bail
You will see how a bail bond feels much cheaper than a cash bail bond because you don’t pay everything upfront. You pay a small percentage compared to a cash bond. However, it must be said that you will pay more in the long run because you never see the money come back to you. The return of the bond money goes to the bail bondsman. On the other hand, cash bail is returned to you after you show up for court.
Con #4: Minor Infractions Lead to Bail Revocation
You can violate the smallest infraction, and it can lead to you having your bail revoked and the bond forfeited. All you have to do is violate one of the conditions of your bail to find yourself in this situation. For example, drinking alcohol can revoke your bail bond if it violates your conditions.
Pro #5: Multiple Payment Options
Most bail bond services will let you repay using a payment plan. This lets you pay it off in small increments. Before you choose a bail bond service, speak to them about the payment options.
Con #5: Not an Excuse to Not Show Up
You still need to show up for court, and a failure to do so will lead to the forfeiture of your collateral. Quite often, this is either someone’s home or a car, but it never ends well, especially if someone else puts the money up for you. Don’t run!
You may struggle to decide whether you should pay with a cash bond or a bail bond. In general, if you can afford it, a cash bond is better because you can recover your money after you show up to court. You do have the advantages of going to a bail bonds Sacramento company, however, and it may make more sense when you don’t have the cash to pay in full.