Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How the Bail System Works

"The bail has been posted", "My brother bailed me out of jail", and "The bail has been set at $10,000" are all phrases we have likely heard. Most of us are exposed to statements regarding bail, whether it be in real-life or on your favorite television show. Many people know that bail is the temporary release of someone awaiting trial for a crime in which they were arrested, but there is much more to the bail system than that.

As your criminal defense lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks, our law firm knows how important it is to know the ins and outs of the bail system. Even if you don’t plan on needing this knowledge, you never know when a friend or family member will call you for bail. Take a look below to learn more about the Missouri bail system and how it may affect you.

The Basics:

After the police take someone into custody, they will be fingerprinted and photographed and then held in a cell. A bond amount is then set for the individual. This amount can vary from $500 to $500,000, depending on the severity of the crime. In order for the individual to get released, a friend or family member must bring in cash or a cashier's check in the amount the bond is set. This amount is to ensure to individual being accused will show up to court, where the money will be refunded. The individual may have to stay in holding until the court date, if no one can provide the funds needed for bail. See the point about bail bonds for other options when it comes to paying bail.

All About Bail Bonds:

When the individual nor friends or family members are able to pay the bail amount and it is not reasonable to stay in jail until the trial (which can be schedule months out), another alternative is available. A bail bond agent can provide the funds needed to cover bail, for a small fee - usually 10% of the bail amount. The individual is free to go until his or her court date, once the bail is posted by the agent. The bond agent is held responsible to the court to ensure the individual attends his or her court date. If they do not show up, the agent is now held liable to the court for the full bail amount. A "bounty hunter" may be hired by the bond agent to locate the individual and ensure he or she does not miss their court date.

Earlier we discussed the bond bail amount is usually 10% of the total bond amount. There is another alternative for an individual who cannot afford that amount - a bond loan. The bond agent may negotiate another form of payment of collateral to be taken out against the person in need of being bailed out of jail. This payment may come in the form of a car or home deed or a "signer" who promises to repay the amount, if the individual is unable to do so. Many bond agents will accept an individual with good credit and/or financial backing to be a "signer" for the person who is needing bailed out.

If you are arrested, it's important to know your options. A professional lawyer near the Lake of the Ozarks is available for you to seek representation. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the entire process - starting with bail. Contact Gibbons Law Firm as soon as possible when our services are needed. Don't forget, your first consultation is always free!

Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.

Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049
(573) 348-2211

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