Few people expect to be arrested and sent to jail. However, it happens to millions of Americans every single year. In fact, there is a 5% chance that you will go to prison at one point in your lifetime! Thankfully, there is a system in place to allow individuals to leave jail in order to be with their families and work: bail bonds:
"What is a bail bond?"
When you get arrested and taken to jail, the police are legally obligated to charge you with a crime very shortly after your arrival. You will then be brought before the judge, where there will be a bail hearing. Based on the severity of the alleged crime, the judge will probably set bail, which is essentially a security deposit that you can make in order to ensure your temporary freedom.
"So I can avoid jail just by paying money? What's the catch?"
Unfortunately, bail is generally set a lot higher than most people can afford to pay out of pocket. This is where bail bondsmen come, which are business that operate somewhat similarly to banks. They will loan you the money to cover your bail on the assumption that you pay it back later, with interest.
"What's to prevent me from just running after I get out of jail on bail?"
Well, if you cover the bail with your own money, then you will lose all that money. Additionally, you will be pursued by the law and will be subject to additional charges on your inevitable capture.
If you hire a bail bondsmen to cover your fee, the the bail bond company will track you down. Although this situation isn't as dramatic as portrayals such as "Dog the Bounty Hunter" make it out to be, at the very least you will have to worry about a warrant for your arrest that will last until you die.
"So what do I need to do?"
The best thing that you can do is to get in touch with a bail bondsmen and to discuss their rates. These consultations are free and will help you get a good idea of just how much you will be paying. Furthermore, it is a good idea to have the contact information of a bail bondsman, just in case.
Finally, the exact amount of the bail can vary from state to state, so you'll need to research the laws in your state. For instance, if you live in Oregon, then commercial bail bondsmen are not going to be an option for you. To learn more, contact a company like A Bail Now Bail Bonds, Inc.