Stuck In Jail For Good? What to Do If You Can’t Afford Bail

More than 6 out of 10 people in US jails are awaiting trial. This means that the majority of people in jail have not been found guilty of any crime. Instead, they are in jail because they couldn’t afford their bail.

Fortunately, you have a few other options rather than sitting in jail before your court hearing. This article will tell you everything you need to know if you can’t pay your bail.

What is Bail?

Bail is a system of pre-trial restrictions the court imposes on suspects to ensure they will not obstruct the judicial process. Bail is a guarantee the suspect will show up for their court hearing.

While there are several different types of bail, Americans are most familiar with a cash bail system. Upon paying your bail, the authorities will release you from custody before your hearing. The court will refund your money to you after you attend your hearing.

It is important to note that bail is not a guaranteed right. Not everyone who is accused of a criminal offense will have bail as an option.

What If You Can’t Afford Bail?

A lot of people struggle with how to afford bail. Especially for people of color and other minorities, bails can be set very high. Often, the amount charged is unrealistic. Further, many people associate bail with discrimination.

While some government officials and non-governmental organizations are fighting to end cash bail, bail continues to be a problem for millions of people.

Legally, you can request a lower bail amount through your criminal defense lawyer. However, many times, the judge won’t change the bail price.Fortunately, if you can’t pay your bail, you can use a bail bond. So what is the difference between bail vs. bond?

Well, bail is when you pay the court the money upfront. You may also see bail referred to as cash bond. A bond is when a third party agrees to be responsible for the debt of the defendant.

To use a bail bond, you have to hire a bail bond agent, like those at Usually, bail bondsmen charge 10% of the bail amount upfront. From there, you will agree to pay back the rest of the money by signing a contract. There can also be additional service fees required.

Bail bond agents don’t have the best reputation. A history of shady business practices and dishonesty led to the industry’s rough image. But the truth is, there are plenty of affordable bail bonds out there with hard-working, honest people behind them.

Additionally, you can put up collateral to secure the cost of a bond. Collateral can be real estate, a car, or other valuable property. Collateral can help secure the bail without selling the asset.

Find a Bail Bond Now

Don’t feel ashamed if you can’t afford your bail. You’re not alone, and there are people who can help you. To find a bail bondsman, search “bail bonds near me.” Remember always read the reviews and ask for more information before signing a contract with them.

If you found this article helpful, make sure to check out more information in the Law section.


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