In the event you or a loved one encounters legal troubles, you may have the opportunity to post bail, depending on the crime. Bail is a specified amount of money determined by a court that a defendant must pay to remain out of jail prior to their trial.
But what happens if you are unable to pay or do not wish to pay this fee?
The experienced team at Hidalgo County bail bonds service, Anzaldua Bail Bonds, wants to help you better understand your situation and what your options are. Financial burdens weigh people down, so it’s valid to be concerned about the cost of bail.
What To Do if You Can’t or Don’t Want To Pay
For many of us, finances are an aspect of our lives that we deal with each and every day, so the impact of posting bail can be huge. If the court sets a bail amount higher than you’re able to pay, you will have to stay in jail until your court date.
In many cases, bail is generally too high for an individual to cover on their own. This is when the services of a skilled bondsman come into play.
A bail bondsman will only require you to pay 10% of the total bond cost. While you will not receive these funds back, as opposed to you paying on your own, the benefit is that a bondsman can help to carry the financial burden of this expense.
What if you are able to pay but simply don’t wish to do so? The outcome remains the same. If you feel that the bond is too expensive and are confident in your innocence, you have the choice to wait it out. However, the economic costs of missing work, rent/mortgage payments, or other bills often outweigh the benefits of waiting out the situation.
Can I Be Held Without Bond?
In certain circumstances, even if you have enough money to pay the entire bond amount on your own, you still may not be eligible for release. Often, a person’s criminal history or other factors related to the severity of the charges, cause the bond to be denied.
To be more specific, the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure notes that bond may be withheld in cases of:
The safety of an individual or the community is considered in jeopardy
You trespassed with the assumed intent to cause someone else harm
You violate court orders or the terms of a bond in cases of domestic violence
The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure goes on to note that bond must be set or reduced by no more than:
5 days with misdemeanor and no potential jail time penalty
15 days with misdemeanor and potential jail time of fewer than 180 days
30 days with misdemeanor and a penalty of more than 180 days
90 days with felony accusation
Other Options Do Exist
Despite the many factors listed above, there are other options that depend heavily on various circumstances regarding the case and your personal history. Some defendants have the opportunity to not pay any bail, have their bail reduced, or receive external help.
A few examples include:
Personal Recognizance – If you are not considered a threat to yourself, family, friends, or the community at large, the judge may deem you worthy to be released on your own recognizance. Essentially, the court doesn’t believe you will harm others or attempt to flee the area before your court date, so they do not feel a fine is necessary. A person’s personal and criminal background plays into this heavily.
Seek a Bond Hearing – It’s possible that you are given a bond that is unfair or not proportionate to the charges. In these cases, it’s possible to request a bond hearing through your legal counsel. The court will review your circumstances, and in some instances, lower the amount of bail money you will have to pay.
Help of a Friend – If you look at it in simple terms, the bail bondsman “loans” you the full amount of bail in return for just 10%. Many people ask for loans from family and friends every day, so if you have a loved one willing to work with you and your financial situation, you may have an easier time making payment arrangements with them as well as your bondsman.
Help Is Here With the Top Hidalgo County Bail Bonds Agency
Anzaldua Bail Bonds understands that when mistakes happen, you’re likely to have concerns, and the subject of not being able to post bail is important. Our highly-trained and knowledgeable bail bonds agents are here 24/7 to answer your questions and support you as well.