If you find yourself in the unfortunate predicament of being held in jail, you will need to make a number of decisions that can feel overwhelming at the time. One of these, and likely the most immediate, is how to get released as quickly as possible. Getting out of jail is more than just a convenience; it allows you to resume your life and deal with the difficulties of managing your case without the stress of being behind bars. The sooner you are released, the sooner you can begin to work with a lawyer or the courts to resolve the situation that landed you in jail in the first place.
Of course, getting released is the tricky part. In general, you will have the option of either posting the bail yourself or using a bail bonds service to post it for you. If you have significant assets, you can also use them as collateral for your bail. While it can be tempting to post bail yourself, there are several reasons to consider using a bail bonds service instead even if you have the cash or assets available to you.
You Won't Have to Wait for a Judge
When you are held in jail, your bail will usually be set according to the jail's bail schedule. This is a fixed set of rates that jails are generally not permitted to deviate from. While a judge usually has significant latitude to set to adjust bails up or down, this fixed schedule will do nothing to take your particular situation or means into account. If the bail set by this schedule is too high for you to afford, then you will have no choice but to wait for a judge to adjust your bail. Even worse, the judge may decide to set an equivalent or higher bail, leaving you no better off.
A bondsman can't do anything about the bail schedule, but they do provide you an option to meet the potentially higher bail without waiting for a judge. The higher bail will be taken into account by the bondsman's fee, but this will still be drastically less than you would normally have to pay out of pocket.
Your Money Isn't Tied Up
Posting bail can often be a significant financial hardship, even if you can technically afford it. Depending on your particular case, it may be some time before you are able to have your posted bail returned to you. If the amount for the bail represents a significant fraction of your savings, then this may seriously impact your ability to pay bills or deal with emergencies that may come up while you are awaiting trial. A bondsman's nonrefundable fee won't be coming back to you, but it can often be wiser to take a small hit like this than to allow all of your funds to be unavailable to you.
You May Get Out of Jail More Quickly
In addition to not having to wait for a judge, bondsmen know the ins and outs of the court system and get your bail posted fast. If you use a bonds service that is available 24/7, then usually your release will take 24 hours or less. In some cases, it may only be a few hours between contacting the bonds service and walking out of jail. On the other hand, posting the bond yourself can sometimes be a lengthy process, especially if you need to secure the funds first.
Posting bail yourself is always an option if the funds or assets are available to you, but using a bail bonds service can often make the process quicker, easier, and, over the long run, potentially less costly. Look at this website for more information about court bail bonds.