When a friend or a family member gets arrested, you will do anything you can to get them out. Sometimes this means bailing them out of jail. While this may seem like an easy thing to do, it can be complicated and expensive in the long run, especially if you make misguided decisions based on emotions. So, before you pay bail to get that person you care about out of jail, here are five important things you need to know.
There’s no denying that bailing someone out of jail is expensive. For instance, if you work with a bonding agent, you’ll have to pay administrative costs and a non-refundable fee. In Colorado, the fee is usually 10 to 15% of what you pay as a bail amount. That means if the bail amount is $50,000, you’ll have to part with a whopping $5,000 non-refundable fee plus the administrative cost.
While posting the bail amount directly to the court will help you avoid the bail bonds company fee, this option means that your money will be tied up for months before you can get it back. In some cases, outstanding fines and court costs may be deducted from the full cash bail amount before getting a refund. As a result, what you get back can be a lot less, particularly if your loved one is eventually found guilty.
That’s perhaps the reason why most people turn to bond companies to protect their cash. While this option may be equally expensive in the end, it helps you eliminate the risk of posting bail amount to the court. However, you’ll still part with the 10% fee.
When you bail someone you love out of jail, they typically have several court dates to attend. Missing one could lead to an arrest warrant. If they are not found within the specified period, the money or property you posted for bail could go into default. That means if you had involved a bonding company, they’ll forfeit the whole amount to the court and then seek repayment from you.
Bailing someone out of jail typically means they will have to fulfill certain bond conditions. For instance, your loved one might be ordered not to make contact with the alleged victim. In selected cases, they might also be required to attend alcohol or drug treatment programs, not to leave the county, or not to associate with co-defendants in any way. It is usually your responsibility to ensure that they meet all these court-mandated requirements.
If they violate any of the terms given, the bond may be revoked, and they are sent back to jail. The consequences of violating the bond conditions do not fall on the offender only. They may spill on you, too. If, for example, you had put collateral up, whether jewelry, guns, cars, houses or more, you could be ordered to forfeit these possessions to the bail bonds company.
When bailing someone out of jail, it’s not uncommon for you to be asked to pay $50,000 to secure the bond. Giving out such an amount in liquidity can be difficult, considering there is no certainty that you will get back what you put in. Sometimes the only option you have is to work with a bonding company to allow you post bail through a property bond at a fee.
While this is definitely a good alternative, things could get really messy if the payment is not remitted to the bonding company. If, for instance, you had used your house and the fee was not paid to the bail bonds agent, you could lose your house, even if the defendant shows up to all court dates.
When bailing someone out of jail, it is possible to use a property to secure a bond. This could be anything from your paid-off car, a piece of land, a house, an art collection, or anything of value that you own.
Before you agree to a property bond, you need to read and understand all the legal terms and conditions. If you are not sure about anything, talk to an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney. Doing this will help you mitigate the risk of losing the property you use to secure a bond for your loved one.
If your loved one has been arrested in Colorado or you are planning to bail them out of jail, you owe it to yourself to contact an experienced Denver criminal defense attorney for help. The criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC understands the value of helping good people through tough times and has been defending the rights of Colorado residents for over 10 years. We’ll help you understand bond laws, work with you to reduce the bail amount or even arrange for your loved one’s release. Contact us online or give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.