What Happens When You Can’t Afford to Pay Bail?

During a time of legal trouble, if you cannot pay bail, you face serious consequences. Therefore, it is important to understand how the bail bonds West Chester, PA, system works and how to avoid being charged with a crime. Then you can make the right decisions and stay out of trouble after you post post bail bonds kauai hi.

Cash Bail

Despite the growing number of people awaiting trial, most jurisdictions in the United States continue to use a cash bail system. Unfortunately, this system is not designed for everyone and is disproportionately detrimental to people of color and the poor.

Bail is not required for all crimes. In addition, some jurisdictions provide

  • Flexible scheduling.
  • On-site child care.
  • Transportation vouchers for those who cannot afford to pay their way out of jail.

The United States currently holds 536,000 pretrial detainees. These people are incarcerated for reasons including poverty and unemployment. They also have a higher rate of chronic illness and mental health issues.

The average bail for a felony is $10,000. This amount is higher than many people can afford and is optional in many cases. A bail calculator can show you how much a bondsman will charge you.

The amount of money required for bail varies, but it is usually between several thousand dollars and millions. Bail fees are typically set at the first court appearance.

Surety Bail

Buying a surety bond is a good idea, especially when you can’t afford to pay bail. Bail bond companies are hired by courts to get absent defendants back into custody. In return, the company receives money after the trial. However, the bail bond money is forfeited if the defendant fails to show up.

Surety bonds are one of the more popular types of bail. They are secured by collateral, such as a car title, vehicle, or land deed. This type of bond is legal in some states, however. Talk to a lawyer if you still need to determine what type of bond you should buy.

Other bail options include a partially secured surety bond, an insurance company bond, and a property bond. Again, you will need to determine each type’s cost before you decide.

The best way to pay bail is by visiting the courthouse or jail. You can then find out if you can post bail at the courthouse and, if so, what you will need to do. Some courthouses offer bail payment information online. If not, you may need to call the courthouse. You must bring a photo ID, a receipt for the bail amount, and a check.

Pretrial Release and Detention

Currently, more than half a million people in the US cannot afford to post bail when charged with a crime. If they can’t, they are imprisoned until their case is resolved. Some people are forced to sell their property to pay for bail. Others put up collateral.

Prosecutors use pretrial detention as a way to pressure people into pleading guilty. In addition to financial hardship, imprisoned people can suffer from physical violence, denial of necessary health care, and deportation. In some cases, people are held because they are dangerous to the community.

In many cases, pretrial detention also has a racially discriminatory effect. As a result, people of color are incarcerated at disproportionately high rates. This reinforces racial inequities in the justice system.

The cash bail system criminalizes poverty. People are forced to leave their homes and jobs, lose custody of their children, and struggle to pay court fees.

Alternatives to Bail Bonds

You will only be able to leave jail if you can afford to pay the bail. You will have to wait months, or even years, to get a trial.

The average bail is over $6,000, making it impossible for many families to afford. Knowing your options is important if you cannot afford to pay the bail. Here are a few:

When a defendant does not appear in court, the bail will be forfeited to the government. Normally, the court will give back the fee to the person who paid the bond if the defendant follows the court’s orders.

Some people can post their bail through a commercial bail bonds company. These companies charge a fee of 10 percent of the total bond amount. These companies also may require collateral. The company can seize the collateral if you do not pay your bail.

If you do not have collateral, you can try to find a nonprofit organization that can help you. You can also ask friends and family for help. This is especially important if you are a poor person.

Posted Under Law