It may be difficult now to picture yourself in a situation where you or a loved one have been charged and arrested for a crime. But it’s possible for circumstances to occur that are both out of your control and/or out of your normal character. For these instances, it’s better to be prepared and know the general procedures and costs associated with bail.
Let’s say you or a loved one are arrested for a crime. You are brought to a holding cell, where you stay until your bail hearing. At your hearing, you have the opportunity to plead either innocent or guilty in front of a judge. At that time, the prosecution proposes a bail amount and your lawyer will either agree upon or refute it for an amount he or she deems suitable. Ultimately, however, the final decision on bail is left to the judge.
Although judges do carry this power of discretion, they must still operate under statutes that allow for a fair bail amount in accordance with the crime committed. For instance, a bail amount of $100,000 for an alleged misdemeanor like public intoxication is unfair and not allowed under the constitution. However, a similar bail amount for a felony charge is within reason.
These restrictions are put in place partly because until a trial runs its course, all charges are assumed or alleged. Charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and so any actions before then must be handled with a degree of sensitivity to the defendant’s situation. In some cases, no bail at all is set and a defendant is allowed to leave the court with the promise to return for their trial dates, along with any other guidelines.
What would make a judge allow an accused to leave on his or her own recognizance? It can depend on the defendant’s ties to the community, including their family; whether they have a job they can continue to safely work without putting anyone at risk; and/or if they have the financial resources to leave the country. All of these factors are considered in conjunction with the alleged crime to determine the appropriate bail amount on a case-by-case basis.
Once bail is set, depending on the amount, many defendants and their families turn to bail bonds professionals to help with the payment. What a bail bondsman will do is leverage an asset as assurance that the defendant does their duty and appears in court when scheduled. This asset is held for the duration of the trial and returned should the defendant follow all necessary protocol.
There is no exchange of cash in the prior example. Bail bondsmen typically charge a percentage up-front, but this number varies according to which state you live in and with who you do business with in these states.
PCS Bail Bonds has been providing defendants with affordable bail in Forth Worth, Texas and the surrounding area for the last two decades. We continue to do our part in serving the justice system while also being of service to the people. For more information on bail bonds in Fort Worth, contact us today.
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