Steps To Take When Bail Is Unaffordable
When bail is too high, there are several steps that you can take to reduce the burden. Here are some ways you can make bail even when the cost is unaffordable.
Ask Friends and Family
If you don't have many resources to your name, it's a good time to turn to family and friends for help. You may be able to gather financial support from several different people with family loans or donations. Another thing to consider is not to ask for the money outright, but to ask someone to help you with a surety bond instead. With this type of bail bond collateral, a friend or family member pledges to be responsible for the fees should you not meet your bail obligations. This can be a great option if you don't have a car or home to post as bail collateral.
Ask for a Payment Plan
You can also talk with your bail bond company about a payment plan that would extend the amount of time you have to make premium payments. This is solely up to the discretion of each company, so shopping around can be helpful.
Ask for Bail Reduction
You can also go directly to your judge to ask for a reduced bail amount. Several factors will come into play here. First, you should bring an account of your assets, along with documentation of the work you've done to get support and search for affordable bail options. Make sure that you attend all court meetings and cooperate thoroughly with the judge so that they will have a favorable view of your flight risk. The judge will also weigh other factors, such as the severity of your crime and your criminal history, to determine whether a bail reduction is fair.
Shop for the Best Rates
Another thing to consider when searching for an affordable bail plan is to get the best rates. The bail premium is one thing to think about; premiums between 8 to 10 percent are common. But you should also look at the entire package deal, since there are other charges that can add up. For example, what are the additional fees for long distance phone calls or travel expenses the bail bondsman incurs? What's the associated cost of a bounty hunter or an attorney fee for your bail company? Taking the whole picture into account is important when you're in search of an affordable bail.