Three Solutions To Explore If You Can't Afford Your Bail

Posted on: 26 October 2017

After your arrest, a judge will take into consideration the details of your arrest, your prior criminal history, and any applicable state laws to set your bail. Before you can leave jail, you have to make arrangements to cover your bail. If your bail is an amount that you can't afford, here are a few solutions to explore:

1. Ask the Judge to Reduce Your Bail

One pathway you can take to make your bond more affordable is to have your lawyer ask the judge to reduce it. Though judges usually have guidelines that they have to follow when setting bail, they are permitted to take mitigating circumstances into consideration.

Be prepared to present evidence to the judge that helps support your argument that you will not leave town before your trial or that you are unable to pay your present bail amount. Usually, individuals with strong ties to their communities are viewed as less of a flight risk.

For example, you may want to provide the judge with your paycheck stubs and a record of your employment history to show that you are unlikely to take off once you pay your bail. If you have family in the area or your children attend the local schools, this can also help build your case that you will show up in a timely manner for all of your court dates.

2. Hire a Bail Bonds Service

If the judge refuses to decrease your bail or if the bail is still too expensive for your bank account, you can hire a bail bonds service to alleviate some of the financial burdens. With a bail bonds service, you only have to pay a set fee and the bail bondsman posts your bail for you. On average, expect to pay around 10 percent for the fee. Once you attend all of your court dates, the bail bonds service gets its money back.

3. Use Your Property as Collateral

Another solution is to use your property as collateral for your bond. Some court systems accept property for the full amount of your bond; however, the property usually must exceed the amount of your bail to account for the fees associated with selling it if you miss your court dates. If the value of your property isn't sufficient for the courts in your area, you can utilize the services of a bail bondsman to help you use it to make your bail.

Some common forms of property collateral include real estate, land, vehicles, boats, and farm equipment.