Should I post someone’s bail?

bail bonds services after arrest

Is posting bail a law?

Bail is set by a judge at an arraignment and is required to be paid before the defendant is released from jail. Posting bail is the process of paying that bail and can be paid by the defendant, a family member, friend, a bail bondman, or an attorney. Posting bail for someone is not to be viewed as a fine or is intended to be seen as a punishment, but as a guarantee the defendant will appear for all court dates. 

It is not a law that a judge must set bail for a defendant to be released, but it is within the judicial system that the judge has to either set bail, deny bail, or set a conditional bail.  Which choice the judge takes depends on different factors. 

Setting bail is based on the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, and the defendant’s current attitude and demeanor when presented to the judge for arraignment. Needless to stay, it is at this time that the defendant should be at their best behavior. While the judge does have guidelines to follow, they can choose to deny bail. In this case, there is no posting bail by anyone for the defendant’s release. 

Typically, denied bail is when the defendant appears to be an obvious threat to the community and themselves. If the crime the defendant is accused for is serious enough that a possible life sentence will be handed down, the judge will deny bail. If a defendant is from another country or gives other reasons to be a flight risk, bail will be denied. 

A bail with conditions is handed down could be a matter of al weapons be surrendered by the defendant. The judge may require the defendant undergo alcohol or drug treatment, place them on parole, or other stipulations.  Judges have a state guideline to follow when handing down bail requirements. 

What does it mean to post a bond?

Once you have been arrested, you will be presented before an arraignment judge who will set a bail amount (or deny bail as discussed above). For the arrested to be released, themselves, a family member, friend, an attorney, or bail bondsman will be given instructions on how, when, and were for posting bail to the court. 

The full amount of the bail doesn’t have to be paid if an attorney or bail bondsman are involved. The attorney typically takes the responsibility of assuring the courts the defendant will appear for all court dates.  A bail bondsman’s involvement will require a family member or friend posting bail with them and paying the bail bondsman’s a fee, typically 10% of the bail. That fee is nonrefundable. 

What happens after you post bond?

After posting bail, the money is held by the court and all specified amounts of money are held until the defendant has appeared for all court dates . If the defendant is a no-show for any of the required court dates, the money from posting bail is not refunded 

What do you do if you can’t afford bail?

Posting bail is not always affordable for many people. Proof of that with the seventy percent or more defendants incarcerated are there because post bail was not possible. So, what happens if you, a family member, or friend can’t afford to post bail with a bondsman or the court and there is no attorney? 

Out of the following four methods of posting bail, there may be one that will work: 

  1. 1.Posting Bail with  Cash: Posting bail with cash in the full amount of the bail will allow the defendant to be released. That cash can be paid by the defendant or someone on their behalf. 
  2. Posting Bail With a Surety Bond: A surety bond is posting bail with a bail bondsman.  Bail bonding is a business where the agents, bail bondsmen, pay the required bail on behalf of the defendant. They charge the defendant, or whoever is getting the bond, a fee. The bondsman gives the court their word that the defendant will appear for all required court appearances.
  3. Posting Bail with  Collateral: If you, a family member, or friend cannot produce the cash for posting bail with a bail bond agent, they may take collateral or other form of security. This collateral can be a vehicle, home, property, jewelry, etc., anything of value equal to or more than the bail amount. The collateral is not returned if the defendant misses any required court appearances.
  4. Released on Own Recognizance in Lieu of Posting Bail: A judge may release a defendant based on their own recognizances. This is referred to as  PR bond and is comparable to a citation and release. The difference being this only happens after the bail hearing has taken place. 
bail bonds building

Can you bail someone out of jail without a bail bondsman?

Posting bail without a bondsman is possible, but it will cost the full amount of the bail as set by the judge. Posting bail with a bail bondsman, they take responsibility of the full amount with the court. This means if your bail is set at $25,000, they only charge the person posting bail with them the 10% fee, $2,500.  

If you are considering and able, posting bail direct with the court, the full $25,000 will need to be paid. This must be paid in cash or by cashier’s check.  The full amount is refundable once the defendant has fulfilled all required court ordered appearance, minus a fee. 

So, now you know what posting bail means and what must happen, or not happen. But, what happens if you don’t post bail? If posting bail isn’t possible by family, friend, attorney, or bail bondsman, then you stay incarcerated until your court date. This could be days, weeks, even months, depending on how booked up the court system. If the defendant is found guilty and sentenced, typically the time they have been behind bars will be credited in part toward that sentencing. Call 888-224-5711 today for your bail needs in Lebanon and Reading, PA.