When you get arrested for a crime and are booked into jail, one of three things will happen next:
- You will be released on your own recognizance with your promise to show up for court
- You will be held in jail until your court date and/or trial
- You will be released by posting a certain amount of money, agreeing that if you do not show up for court, you will forfeit that money.
The money that is posted is called BAIL. It can range from $100 to $million$, depending on the severity of your crime and what the judge or magistrate considers your ‘flight risk’; the chance you will not appear before them on your court date.
Bail companies in most states agree to pay the entire amount of your bail for a fee of 10-15% of the bail amount. Therefore, if your bail is $100,000, a bail bondsman agrees to pay that amount if you do not appear before the court on your date. If you hire a bail bondsman, you agree to pay a non-refundable fee of $10-15,000.
Four states; Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon and Wisconsin do not allow commercial bail bondsmen, instead allowing you or someone else to post the 10-15% ‘BOND’ with the understanding that if you do not appear, whoever posts the Bond … which in our example is $10-15,000, will forfeit that plus another $85-90,000.
Once you are free on bail you need to shop for the best Criminal Defense Lawyer you can afford. A man on bail is a free man and a free man can fight his case better than a locked up one. Get bail.