Bail allows those arrested and jailed to attain freedom – for a price. The price of bail can be reduced using a bail bonding service, but there's more to bail than just financial considerations. Read on to find out what's important when you've helped out a family member with bail.
Bail and Bail Bonding
If your family member was offered bail, they are fortunate because not everyone can be bailed out. Bail is not a right but a privilege for those who meet the qualifications. If you are smart, you avoided paying the full price charged by the jail and worked with a bail bonding company instead. That means you paid a percentage of the full bail cost and – just like that – your family member is released from jail. You want to pay close attention to the details about bail, however, because the person who posts bail may be responsible for more than you might expect.
What to Know About Bail Conditions
Bail comes with conditions and those conditions vary depending on the nature of the charges and the defendant's criminal record, if any. Obeying those conditions is just as important as the financial obligation for bail. One of the most important conditions is appearing for future court dates. Those out on bail cannot consider their case closed until they appear in court and have their guilt or innocence judged. If found guilty, punishment is handed out. Alternately, your family member may be offered a plea bargain, and this way of resolving cases is extremely common. Any meetings in regard to a plea bargain along with the court appearance to enter the plea have mandatory appearance requirements.
Failure to Appear
When your family member fails to appear for scheduled court meetings and cannot be immediately located, they are said to have jumped bail. Bail jumping is a crime (failure to appear) and they can be arrested and charged. If you have a family member who failed to appear, it's likely their bail was automatically revoked. That means it's now illegal for your family member to be free from jail and bail is no longer valid.
Implications for Bail Posters
It's vital to monitor your family member and make sure they appear at all court hearings. If the bail is revoked, the bail bonding company may expect you to pay them back for the bail they posted on behalf of your family member unless they can be located and turned in. If you think your family member will jump bail, you can cancel the bail bond by contacting the bonding company. Speak to a local bail bond service to find out more.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.