Bail is a legal concept that’s meant to keep the jails empty of those who’ve been accused of crimes, but which still gives them ample motivation to show up to their court dates. It’s pretty simple, at least in theory. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, then a judge can set bail. You post bail, which means giving a certain amount of money to the court to allow you to go free. When you show up to your court dates, and the issue is resolved, your bail is returned to you. If you don’t show up, your bail is forfeited, and the court will send officers to return you to jail.
However, bail is a little more involved than that description makes it sound. It can also be complicated for those in need, or for those who want to help friends or family members.
Who Can Post Bail?
Legally speaking, anyone who is 18 or older can sign contracts and bail themselves, or others, out of jail. While there may be rules and caveats depending on particular state or local jurisdiction, if bail has been set for someone then there usually aren’t a lot of restrictions on who can post it on that person’s behalf. It should be noted, though, that bail is not always extended, and that there will be circumstances where someone will remain in jail until their charges are resolved one way or another. Also, anyone who’s thinking about posting bail should know that the bail is forfeited if someone doesn’t show up to their court dates, regardless of who posted that bail.
Now, if someone can afford to post bail (or a friend or family member can afford to post it on their behalf), then everything can be handled in relatively short order. The funds will be transferred, papers will be signed, and the person will be released with reminders to show up for their court date. However, not everyone has a vast pool of resources lying around to post for bail, and when that happens things can quickly grow problematic.
Is It Worth The Risk?
If you find yourself in jail, and you can afford to do so, you should definitely post your own bail. After all, you have a vested interest in getting out of jail so you can get back to your life, find a lawyer, and work on your defense against your charges. But what about when someone else needs bail money? A family member, say, or a friend? Do you know them well enough to risk thousands of dollars on the hope that they’ll make their court dates?
If the answer is no, or if you simply can’t afford their bail, there is another option. A bail bond organization can post bail on someone’s behalf, for a state-mandated fee. That fee is non-refundable, but it’s significantly less than the amount you would forfeit if your friend forgot he had to be at court on the 25th of next month. Or, if you can’t afford the cost of your bail, a bail bond will allow you to get out of jail in hours. Your fee to the bail bond company is a payment for their help, though, so you won’t get that money back.
It’s also important to remember that a bail bond agency must agree to help you.
Just like a court can deny bail, a bail bond agency can refuse to work with particular cases. However, there’s nothing lost by reaching out to an agency, and asking if they can help in your situation. So if you, or someone you know, is in need of a trusted bail bond company whose primary goal is to help their clients work through the legal system, you should make that call. For more information on bail and bond in the state of Minnesota, simply contact us today!