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What Happens if You Don't Have Money For Bail?

What Happens if You Don’t Have Money For Bail?

April 25, 2023

When someone you care about is stuck in jail, the cost of bail can be a huge problem. Many people aren’t able to afford it, so they turn to a professional bail bondsman for help. But what happens when you don’t have the money for bail?

In this article, we’re going to talk about bail bonds and what can happen if you can’t pay or keep up with the requirements. So, let’s dive in and learn more about this important topic to better understand the options and challenges that come with bail bonds.

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What happens if you can’t pay bail?

What happens if you can't pay bail?

If you or a loved one can’t afford to pay bail, there are a few possible outcomes to consider. When someone is arrested, they are typically given a bail amount based on the severity of the charges and their criminal history. If you can’t pay this bail amount, here’s what might happen:

  1. Remain in jail: The most immediate consequence of not being able to pay bail is that the person may have to stay in jail until their court date. This could result in lost wages, strain on personal relationships, and other negative impacts.
  2. Request a bail reduction: The defendant or their attorney can request a bail reduction by filing a motion with the court. The judge will then review the circumstances, such as the defendant’s ties to the community, criminal history, and the seriousness of the charges, before deciding whether to lower the bail amount.
  3. Use a bail bondsman: If you can’t afford the full bail amount, you can work with a bail bondsman. They will typically charge a non-refundable fee (usually 10% of the bail amount) and may require collateral, like property or a co-signer, as a guarantee. If the defendant attends all court dates, the bail bondsman will get their money back, and you’ll only be responsible for the fee. If the defendant doesn’t appear in court, you may be responsible for the full bail amount and any additional fees.
  4. Pretrial release or own recognizance: In some cases, the judge may release the defendant on their own recognizance or through a pretrial release program. This means they are released without having to pay bail, but they must agree to certain conditions, like attending all court dates and not committing any new crimes. Factors such as the defendant’s ties to the community, employment status, and criminal history will influence the judge’s decision.

What is a Bail Bond?

What is a Bail Bond?

When someone is arrested for a crime, they may be granted bail. This is a set amount of money they can pay to the court to be released. The cost of bail will be determined by many factors, such as:

  • The severity of the crime
  • The defendant’s past criminal record
  • If the defendant is a flight risk
  • If the defendant is a risk to the community
  • Local bail schedules

In the more severe cases, the defendant will not be granted bail at all. They will have no opportunity for release through the duration of their case.

When individuals cannot afford the bail set by the court, they can contact a bail bond agency. The bail bond agency will cover the majority of the cost of bail as long as the defendant or defendant’s loved one pays a set percentage of the total cost. By law, the percentage cannot be over 10%.

For example: if the defendant’s bail were set at $10,000, the defendant (or their loved one) would contact a bail bonds company for help covering the total amount. The defendant could be asked to pay a premium of up to $1,000 to the bail bonds agency. The bail company will then put up the other $9,000. A total of $10,000 has been paid using a bail bond, and the defendant can be released.

How Quickly Can I Be Released from Jail With a Bail Bond?

How Quickly Can I Be Released from Jail With a Bail Bond?

If you get a bail bond from The Bail Boys, we can have you or your loved one released from custody within hours. If you do not pay for a bail bond, you could remain in jail for the entirety of the case.

Paying for a Bail Bond in Los Angeles

At The Bail Boys, clients are able to pay for bail using:

  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Money order
  • Western Union Quick Collect

In most cases, the individual seeking a bail bond will be required to pay for their bail bond prior to their loved one being released. However, in some cases, payment may be made after their loved one is released. In rare cases, people may try to get away with not paying for their bail bond. Let’s discuss what happens if this occurs.

Failure to Pay for a Bail Bond

Failure to Pay for a Bail Bond

If you don’t pay the premium set by the bail bonds agency, the contract is void. They no longer are required to pay your bail, and you can remain in jail.

If you were released prior to the bail premium being paid, the bail bonds agency has a couple of options. First, they may go to the court and inform them that you or your co-signer has not paid the premium, and they no longer wish to take responsibility for you. In this case, you can be sent back to jail, and you will have to find a new bail bond agent to cover your bail cost. However, this will be much more difficult, as you now have a record of not paying for bail bonds services.

Another option would be for the bail bonds agency to locate you and bring you back into custody. This may involve a bounty hunter.

Additionally, the bail bond company has the right to file a civil lawsuit against you to obtain the funds as agreed upon in the contract.

Affording a Bail Bond in Southern California

Affording a Bail Bond in Southern California

You never want to sign a contract to pay a bail premium you cannot afford. If you do and don’t pay, you could face the above consequences and obstacles.

At The Bail Boys, we understand that even 10% of the cost of bail can be out of budget for many people. We want to do everything we can to help you bring your loved ones home from custody, so we offer additional help with financing. We offer zero, 1%, or 2% down bail bonds for individuals in tight financial situations. To discuss your premium payment options further, contact our team.

The Bail Boys Bail Bonds

If you need assistance bailing your loved one out of jail, contact our bail agents at The Bail Boys. We work quickly and efficiently to bring your loved one home as fast as possible.

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