Why A Cash Bail Might Not Be Your Best Option

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When judges set bail amounts, they’re supposed to pick a number based on a few factors:  the seriousness of the crime, the chance that you’d try to run away, and your ability to pay.  For some people, the bail amount is low enough or they have friends and family who can pay the bail using nothing but cash.  There is nothing wrong with that, especially since you get the bail money back after the trial, right?  Unfortunately, cash can have a few downsides compared to a secured bail bond.

Representation

If you can’t afford a defense lawyer, the court will assign you a public defender.  However, to get a public defender, you need to prove that you can’t afford to pay a lawyer yourself.  A judge may be less likely to believe that if you paid your loan with cash, even if the money came from a family member who refuses to fund anything else.

You could lose your bail money for a variety of technicalities, including things like being late to a hearing because someone reassigned the courtroom without telling you.  Even going to the bathroom at the wrong moment could forfeit your bail.  Some judges go easy on mistakes like that, but others are strict, and if it happens that’s a bad day in court no matter how the case goes.  But if you use a bail bond, you’ll have someone else on your side with an interest in getting your bail money back, someone who has expert knowledge on bail law.

 

Visibility

Paying a bail with cash can affect your ability to get a public defender, and it can also affect the fines and court fees you have to pay.  Depending on the case, the judge or the jury can have a lot of leeway in the amount you pay in fines, and the point of this leeway is to let them account for the circumstances and your ability to pay.  By paying a bond with cash, you’re advertising the amount of money you can afford to do without, even if that’s not the case.

 

Privacy

The courts track things like who pays a bail and what that person’s relationship is to the defendant, and they publish that information along with other court documents.  If you want to keep this connection quiet, you can take out a bail bond.  The courts have to publish certain information with every case, but bail bond agencies have no obligation to do the same.

Bail bonds give people a way to make bail even if they don’t have a big savings account, and these bonds have a few benefits that make it a good idea even if you do have the money.  Bail bonds offer a layer of privacy, and they can change the way a judge and jury think about your income and how much the defendant’s family can support them.  So if you or a loved one is stuck in jail, reach out to a place like Details Investigations & Bail Bonds and find out how we can help you while keeping things affordable.

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