The Benefit of Bail Bonds
When a person has been charged with a crime, arrested and placed in jail there is almost always the option to post a bail bond to be released. The cost associated with a bail bond can be quite expensi...
When a person has been charged with a crime, arrested and placed in jail there is almost always the option to post a bail bond to be released. The cost associated with a bail bond can be quite expensive at ten percent of the total bail amount. However, by bailing out of jail, a defendant can obtain a more favorable sentence and spend far less time in jail. Besides the obvious benefits of bail bonds there are some hidden ones as well.
One obvious reason to bail out of jail is to not miss work days and get fired. It probably wouldn’t look good if a person had to miss work without being able to call in sick themselves. Another obvious reason to bail out is to be able to make court looking less like a criminal. Individuals that remain in custody are brought in front of the judge in an orange jump suit either hand cuffed or behind a small cage. Being able to go to court in nice clothes gives the judge a different perception. Also, while out, the defendant is free to meet or call his attorney or public defender as time permits to plan and discuss the case.
A good attorney, either private or public, will be able to save the defendant time in jail and sentence received in court if the defendant is fighting his case out of custody. Law enforcement will make arrests for crimes that can be a felony or a misdemeanor but charge the arrestee with a felony from the get go. It is the job of the District Attorney’s Office to get convictions to show that the system will not tolerate crime. So if a person is charged with a felony, the DA’s office will want to obtain a felony conviction. However, many crimes are commonly known as “wobblers”.
A crime that can be convicted as a felony or a misdemeanor is commonly referred to as a “wobbler”. Crimes that are considered “wobblers” are treated as felonies by law enforcement officers when making arrests. If a defendant is incarcerated the DA will likely seek a felony conviction on a wobbler case. If the defendant is out of custody, the DA will likely take a misdemeanor on a wobbler. Some attorneys and public defenders believe that there is a greater than 50% chance of being charged with a misdemeanor rather than a felony when a defendant is fighting a case out of custody.
A person who is in custody has little time to confer with his attorney during court proceedings and has far less time to make decisions making him almost desperate to do anything to get out of jail quicker. The DA’s office will seek a felony conviction knowing that this situation exists. When out on bail there is always a chance that the defendant will want to take his case to trial. The defendant is usually more informed because he can talk to his attorney when needed and take time to make decisions. On bail the defendant is less desperate because he is already out of jail. The DA’s office will likely take a misdemeanor conviction with a lesser sentence to save the time, energy, and resources associated with prolonged court dates and the possibility of going to trial. At times, charges can even be dropped rather than being moved from a felony to a misdemeanor.
A defendant convicted with a misdemeanor rather than a felony usually has lower fines, spends less time in jail, receives a lesser sentence, and has an option to get his record expunged at a later date. By spending money to bail out of jail a defendant potentially saves money with lower fines, gains more freedom, and obtains lesser punishment. In addition, a greater chance of charges being dropped exists when out of custody. These hidden benefits along with the obvious make bail bonds a good choice.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lawrence was licensed as a Bail Agent in 1999 and has owned a bail bond company in California. He holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice.