Here’s Why You Need a Bail Bond
We’re familiar with bail bonds for the most part, and recognize how they work. We see and read about them in the news when big names get arrested; this usually comes with a (quite hefty) bond amount. But have we ever stopped and asked ourselves what a bail bond actually does? What the lasting effects are on the defendant, or their family? These questions come to mind when someone we know gets arrested, especially if they are close to you. We’re here to give you information about the things you need to know about the bail system, tell you what your options are, and help you understand why most defendants are better off posting bail. While there are a plethora of reasons why, the most crucial are your job status and parental rights.
If You Aren’t Familiar…
If you’re not familiar with the bail bond process or how it works, we’ll give you some quick info. A bail bond is the amount of money the detainment facility needs to release you from jail before a seeing a judge. Think of it as a security deposit, or insurance. The court holds the money (which is 10% of the total bond) to make sure the defendant shows up to court for their trial.
Usually, a different person pays the bondsman on behalf of the defendant (since they can’t). This also happens to ensure the defendant works to meet their legal responsibilities. The individual representing the defendant must also sign a contract of liability, should the defendant flee (the flee rate is less than 2%). If this happens, the person who signed the paperwork becomes responsible for paying the whole amount.
Once the paperwork is complete, the bondsman contacts the jail to post bail, immediately releasing the defendant. But the process doesn’t quite end there. We’ve helped break down what happens next in a few easy bullet points:
- After release, the defendant appears for all court dates
- The judge gives sentencing guidelines and closes the case (depending on the nature of the crime)
- Once the defendant meets the requirements, the state returns the bail money (after court costs)
To return your money, the defendant must show up for their court dates and perform their legal duties. Once they complete the process, they’re off the legal hook and are free to return to their normal lives. Continuing on, here are the main reasons why you should get a bail bond ASAP if someone you know lands in jail.
You Can Lose Your Job
When someone gets arrested, it’s usually by surprise. In other words, most arrests aren’t planned, and you can’t do the things you would otherwise do if you knew you were going to jail. This means you can’t call your boss, your kids’ schools, your financial institutions, etc. You can’t do much of anything except make one last free phone call in the booking facility. After that, you only have a few numbers to make very expensive phone calls with (that no one wants to pay for). If you choose wisely, you may salvage a very small aspect of your life. If not, you risk:
- Your employment status
- Your reputation and future prospects
- Anything that is time-sensitive
Too many times have we seen good, sensible people lose their jobs after being unexpectedly arrested. If you go to jail during the week and fail to inform your boss, they could terminate you. If you manage to inform your employer but still surpass an accepted amount of days absent, they could terminate you. Whether it’s because of an unpaid speeding ticket or an outstanding warrant, going to jail means time, and fines. While the fines may be expensive, you can technically sit-out your costs. However, this usually means weeks, months, or years in detainment before it’s finally paid-off. This could sever a lot of life prospects and impact your chances of recovery.
Jail Can Affect Custodial Status
In especially heartbreaking cases of unexpected arrests without bail, children are displaced. Depending on the crime and criminal history of the parent, custodial status comes into question. If the sole guardian of a child stays in jail for a prolonged amount of time, legal authorities will search for family members able to take them. Unfortunately, if they can’t find anyone suitable enough to claim the children, they’ll have to displace them. Pediatric studies have shown children with incarcerated parents can develop long-term health issues, such as:
- Smoking cigarettes
- Exhibiting dangerous behaviors
- Alcohol abuse
- Drug use
As horrifying as this may seem, parents can seek legal representation with an attorney in court to protect their custodial rights. On a different note, we must mention that this also goes for furry friends. If pets and animals go uncared for without proper legal defense or anyone to claim them, they could be taken to a municipal shelter. If this occurs, they could eventually be sold, or put up for adoption. Too much is at risk!
Here’s What You Should Do
If someone you know is in jail, don’t waste any time. Seek a bail bondsman in order to immediately return to your life and make sure your work, family, and personal matters are all in order. You can return to your day-to-day activities until it’s time for you to appear in court. However, be wary of inexperienced or unprofessional companies. Make sure the bondsman bailing you out of jail has the ability to work with you, pick you up, discuss payment options, and care enough about your situation to help.
ABC Bail Bonds does all of that, and more. We have served the people of Greater Houston since 1950 and remain in operation as the oldest, most experienced bail bondsman in the area. We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—even holidays—to ensure none of our clients stay in jail for a second longer than they have to. Do yourself or your loved one a favor and call us to be released from jail immediately!