Steps to Take if You Can’t Pay Bail

After an arrest, you’ll appear before the judge at an arraignment hearing. During that hearing, your criminal defense lawyer can argue for you to be released on bail. The judge may set bail depending on the severity of the criminal charges against you and whether you are considered to be a flight risk. In many cases, defendants are unable to pay the full bail amount. These individuals or their family members can turn to a bail bondsman serving Calvert and Charles Counties for assistance. A bail bonds service can post bail bonds to have you released from jail pending your next court appearance. pay bail bonds

Advocating for Release On Own Recognizance

If you know in advance that you cannot afford to pay bail, you can inform your lawyer that you would like him or her to try to get you released on your own recognizance. If the judge grants this request, you will not be required to pay cash for bail or to obtain bail bonds. You will need to sign a written agreement that you will show up in court when ordered to do so. Provide your lawyer with any information that could help support your request. For example, you might be considered a low flight risk if you have strong ties to the community, family members who reside locally, gainful employment, and no prior criminal history. Even if you do have a criminal record, you might use this in your favor. Your lawyer can explain that you’ve been arrested before and you’ve always appeared in court when ordered.

Obtaining a Surety Bond

If the judge declines to release you on your own recognizance, you can speak with a bail bondsman about obtaining a surety bond, or bail bond. Defendants typically need a co-signer to obtain a bail bond. They must also put down a percentage of the bail amount.

Obtaining a Property Bond

If the charges against you are particularly serious and your bail is higher than $100,000, you may need to obtain a property bond. For example, you or a family member may put a house up as collateral. Bear in mind that if you don’t appear in court as ordered, the court can seize the property.