If you have been arrested and bail has been set for you, there are two ways that bail can be posted to allow you to get out of jail. You can pay the full amount of your bail to either the courthouse or the jail, depending on the county or city you reside in, or you can pay a bail bondsman ten to 15 percent of your bail amount to post bail on your behalf. Both options allow you to get out of jail until the conclusion of your trial. As such, you may find yourself wondering which is the better option for you. Here are three questions you should ask yourself to help guide you toward the right bail decision.
Can You Afford to Post the Full Bail Amount Yourself?
One of the first questions you should ask yourself when deciding whether you should post bail yourself or use a bail bondsman is whether you can afford to post the full bail amount yourself. Many people opt to use a bail bondsman simply because they cannot afford the full bail themselves. For example, if your bail is set at $10,000, you would have to pay the full $10,000 to post bail yourself. On the flip side, you would only pay a bail bonds company $1000 to $1500 to post bail on your behalf.
Are You Looking to Post Bail After Normal Business Hours?
Another important question to ask yourself when deciding whether you should post bail yourself is whether you are looking to post bail after normal hours. When you are looking to post bail yourself, bail must be posted to either the jail or courthouse, depending on where you live. In most cases, the hours to post bail yourself are normal business hours, such as Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you are looking to post bail outside of these hours, you may be out of luck. A bail bondsman is able to post bonds around the clock, helping you to get out over night or on weekends and holidays.
Do You Want the Money You Pay Back?
The last question you should ask yourself is whether you must get your bail money back. When you post bail yourself, you get the money back at the conclusion of your case, regardless of the outcome. When you use a bail bondsman, you do not get any money back. You are paying for the company to post bail on your behalf, and once they do that, their service to you is complete. You will not get any money back regardless of whether the charges against you are dropped or you are found not guilty. If you want to get your bail money back, posting bail yourself is the only way to do so.
In some cases, it makes more sense to post the full amount of bail yourself, while in other cases, it makes sense to use bail bondsman services to get out of jail. Asking yourself these three questions and answering the questions honestly allows you to determine which option is better suited for you.