When Bail Seems Like It's Not An Option

When you are arrested, your bail is set in the following hours or days. The judge will tell you how much your bail will be, and that number is based on your crime, criminal history, and the potential risk that you will not show up to your trial.

So, what happens if that bail amount is higher than you expect? What if you can't afford it? This is what happens when you are unable to make bail.

Determine If You Qualify for a Reduction

If you are working with an attorney, you may ask the judge to reduce your bail. This is especially important if your attorney considers your bail to be excessive. A judge may be willing to reduce your bail if you can provide evidence that you have strong ties to the community and are not a flight risk, for example.

You May Have to Wait It Out

If you are unable or unwilling to bail out of jail, you can await your trial in jail. In most cases, you will be waiting a few weeks to actually undergo a trial. Keep in mind that this means you could be missing out on work, school, and other important things happening outside of jail. Remaining in jail can have a significant impact on your life, and often not for the better. It is much more desirable to make bail if possible.

Ask for Help From People You Know

You may be able to receive help from friends and family members if you are able to call them. Tell them your bail amount and ask if they are willing to sign for your bond. You will be able to leave jail and work on your case or continue working. This option is advantageous for people who have to work to support a family and would otherwise lose their job and be unwilling to pay bills.

In order to get you out of jail, your loved ones may take out a bail bond with a reputable company. This is a desirable option because it allows you or a loved one to pay just 10 percent of the total amount to a bondsman. The caveat? You absolutely have to show up in court for your trial. If you are still unable to afford it, you may be able to put up property as collateral. You will receive the property back after the court case.