If you are arrested and taken to jail, inevitably your priority will be to get out as quickly as possible. Once your bail amount is set, you can post bail and be released on the condition you appear in court when you are supposed to. But what if you are unable to pay bail? Are you stuck sitting in jail until your court date?
Finding yourself behind bars can be overwhelming. Here are the basics of bail to help you navigate the quickest route to release.
What is bail?
Upon arrest, you will be taken to jail. Unless you can post bail, you will remain in jail at least until your first court date. Bail is essentially collateral for your release. Either cash, bond, or another item of value is given to the court in exchange for your release. If you do not appear at your next court date, the court will not only keep your bail payment but will issue another warrant that will put you right back behind bars.
How much is my bail?
Bail amounts vary by crime and can either be set by the judge or assigned as a standard amount. There is a constitutional protection against excessive bail, but that does not mean your bail will be set to be affordable for your financial situation. Therefore, it can be difficult to come up with the money needed to post bail.
What if I can’t afford it?
If you are unable to post bail, you have some options – though admittedly, they are limited. The least desirable option is to remain in jail until your court date. However, if you want to get out of jail, then you must find a way to pay your bail. Family or friends may have the financial means and be willing to help you post bail, or you can contact a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman will post bail for you and collect a percentage of your bond amount from you for their service. In some circumstances, you can file a motion to modify your bond amount, but this can be a risky move as the judge could actually increase your bail.
If you’ve been charged with a crime and are struggling to bail yourself out, Cotten Law can help. Jeremy has represented tens of thousands of clients charged with offenses such as yours and has hundreds of stellar reviews online. Our offices serve clients in central North Carolina including Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Orange, Sampson, Lee, and Chatham Counties. Give our office a call or click over to our main page to chat live with an assistant 24 hours a day.