If you or a loved one has been arrested, you may be wondering what happens to the bail money paid to the court. Here are six ways that bail money is used by the government and what you can expect if you should have to pay it.
1. Detention Costs
Bail money is typically used to pay the cost of detention, which can include the fees charged by the court, the cost of housing in a detention center, and the cost of monitoring and supervising a defendant who is out on bail.
Of course, this can get very expensive so bail alone doesn’t handle the expense. However, it is able to relieve some of the taxpayer burden by demanding some “skin” in the game from anyone whom has enough probable cause to be arrested.
2. Transportation Costs
Bail money is also used to cover the cost of transportation in transporting the arrestee to court appearances. In some cases, if the accused is unable to post bail, they may be required to stay in jail until their court date. This can be costly, as it requires the use of taxpayer dollars to pay for their food and lodging.
3. Drug Testing and Tracking
In some cases, bail money may also be used to pay for drug testing, GPS tracking, ankle bracelets, or other services that are required by the court. Bail money is typically returned to the defendant at the end of their case, but if they are convicted, the bail money may be forfeited to the court.
That’s why, if you’re in the position of posting bail for a loved one, you should go in with your eyes wide open. It’s always possible the money might not make it back to your pocket. You can control some of this risk by using a bondsman or bondswoman, who will typically take 10-15% as a non-refundable. But $100 is much cheaper than $1,000.
4. Pretrial Services
Bail money is also used to pay for the costs of pretrial services, such as supervision, counseling, and anger management classes. These services are important because they help to ensure that defendants show up for their court appearances and do not commit any new crimes while they are awaiting trial.
In addition, pretrial services can help defendants to prepare for their day in court and to make sure that they understand the charges against them. As a result, bail money plays an important role in the criminal justice system by helping to ensure that defendants have access to the resources they need physically, mentally, and emotionally.
What to Do Next
When a loved one is arrested, it can be a very overwhelming and confusing experience. You may not know what to do or where to turn. The first thing you need to do is calm down and take a deep breath.
This is not the time to panic.
The next thing you should do is call a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman will be able to help you through the process of bailing your loved one out of jail. They will help you set up a payment plan, if necessary, and will also be able to answer any questions you may have.
Bail Money Is More Than an Arbitrary Figure
If you should find yourself in the position of having to post bail for someone, it’s important to know that the bail money doesn’t just disappear into thin air. The government uses bail money to cover the cost of detaining, transporting, and supervising an accused person until their trial. So, if you’re able to post bail, be prepared for some or all of your money to be used to cover these expenses.
That said, there is a simpler and cheaper way to ensure that all goes according to plan until the trial date comes. Using a qualified bail bonds agency will enact bail without having to risk the full amount.
PCS Bail Bonds works with clients to ensure the fast and affordable release of a person from jail. Our ability to navigate the judicial system of Tarrant County has helped many clients build their best defense and get their feet back under them. We’re ready to do the same for you. Contact us today to learn more.