The Constitution of the United States made a modification regarding the issuance of excessive bail. This modification to the U.S. Constitution is the Eighth Amendment. It prohibits the court from issuing a defendant an exorbitant amount of bail. Making the person question what happens if you cant afford bail? Excessive doesn’t translate into the defendant cannot pay; it just means the person needs to find another way to pay.
What if You Are Arrested for Assault?
If you have been charged with an assault you must go before a judge. This judge sets forth the stipulations regarding whether or not you will be released from custody. In order for release, the judge will issue a bail bond accordingly. When the judge sets an assault bail bonds then there are a couple of factors taken into consideration:
- Is the defendant a flight risk?
- Is the defendant a potential danger to society and public safety?
The way bail is issued corresponds to the maximum fine a certain charge carries. Say the charge has a $1000 fine, the bail would be set for two times this amount at $2000.
What happens if you cant afford bail that has been assigned to your case? If you cannot afford the cost of the assigned bail, there are other options.
What does “Bail” Mean?
When we speak about bail it is actually establishing an agreement between you, the defendant, and the court. When a person is arrested and they pay bail, they are promising they will come back and face their court date. Once you complete your hearing with the court you get your bail money back.
Factors that Consider a Bail
There are many factors that a judge takes into consideration when determining your bail. In some jurisdictions, if you are arrested for a felony it is a $20,000 bail. Most first-time felonies are charged with a 3-year sentence minimum.
Next, the judge takes into consideration if this is a first-time offense, your employment status, and whether you have a family. Bail may or may not be reduced for any of these factors.
How the Bail Bond Works
Similar to any other personal loan, the bail bondsman is taking a financial risk loaning you this money. The way the bail bondsman ensures they don’t lose out completely should you take flight is to request a deposit. For example, the bail is $20,000, you (or a family member is required to pay $2,000 cash). The bail bondsman then gives you the money you need to get out of jail. In addition to the cash deposit, the bail bondsman is going to want some form of valuable collateral. The deed to your house, a piece of expensive jewelry, or even the pink slip to your car.
Sometimes you will need to know where to sell jewelry so you can come up with this deposit money. The collateral you put up is another way of ensuring the bondsman you will go to court and complete your end of the deal. Therefore, there are solutions when you wonder what happens if you cant afford bail.
Can Bail Money Pay Child Support?
During a dissolution of marriage, your divorce attorney worked hard to establish a feasible child support arrangement. However, in some cases the parent obligated to pay doesn’t or cannot pay. When child support goes unpaid, it can result in license or passport suspension. Suppose a person is driving intoxicated on a suspended license, gets pulled over, and is arrested for a criminal DUI?
The answer to this question is yes. The court can request that bond money be garnished to pay past-due child support money. Yet, time is of the essence in these cases. When you learn your ex has posted bail, you need to work quickly. Once someone else is assigned the money it is difficult to get it garnished for the child support arrears. There are two steps involved in garnishing bond money, the first being placing a lien on it.
The first step is making the actual request during a criminal case to garnish bail money to pay back child support. The next step is to file the action for garnishment with the court, requesting the bond money be paid to you. However, just as with any other court action, the parent holding the bond money has the right to contest.
There is a catch though to this scenario. The bail money is only available once the criminal case is resolved. By placing a lien on the money, when the case is resolved the money would go directly to the custodial parent the support is owed to.
What if I Have My Minor Child With Me When Arrested?
If you have your minor child with you, the child may be taken to the local child custody services agency. The first option though is to contact the other parent. If this parent is deemed capable, the child is left with them. If this is not possible, your child is handed over to the child custody services agency in your county. Besides worrying about your child, you also worry what happens if you cant afford bail?
However, there are guidelines the arresting officer must follow before turning your child over to the state. If there are no visible signs of abuse, neglect, or abandonment, the officer does not need to call child services. Your arrest is not an automatic determination for abandonment.
Another factor to determine is how old the child (or children) are. There are variations to the term “minor child”. There is the typical one–under 18; then there is under 16 and under 10 years of age. Children under 10 may be left with their 16 or 17-year-old sibling if the officer sees it suitable. Therefore, just because you are arrested doesn’t always mean your minor children are deemed a ward of the state.
What if I am in a Semi-Truck Accident?
Of all the accidents on the highway, one involving a semi-truck can be the most tragic and devastating. If you are in one of these accidents and found to be at fault, you need a semi truck accident lawyer.
Whenever there is an accident involving a semi-truck there may be several factors to consider in determining fault:
- Driver training techniques were incomplete or lacking
- Erratic driving
- Issues regarding drivers schedule were disobeying federal laws regarding workable hours allowed per shift
- The driver being awarded compensation packages for faster delivery
All of the above conditions could have been factors that were causing stress to the driver. Causing them to think about getting to their destination and making them less conscientious about their driving.
Following the accident, you are also arrested because it is believed you were under the influence? To make matters worse, your bail is set extremely high. What do you do if you cannot afford the bail amount? In some cases, a judge might look at your previous arrest record and the reason for your arrest. The judge might allow your release on a term known as “your own recognizance”. This can also be in combination with some fancy jewelry (ankle monitor) you must wear.
Arrested for Illegal Firearm Sales
There are a lot of laws that forbid illegal firearm sales. If you have been arrested for this offense, you need a skilled lawyer to possibly help you avoid a conviction. You need an attorney with detailed insight into firearm sale cases. Since the majority of illegal firearm sale cases are felonies, you can expect the bail issued will be extreme. You are now asking yourself, what happens if you cant afford bail? Will you have to sit in jail awaiting trial? What about your job, and your young children who depend on you for their support? All of these are excellent questions, which you should have thought about before doing the crime. However, hindsight is 20/20 as the saying goes, now there are consequences to be paid.
Women Owned Law Firms
According to a survey done by Law360’s yearly Glass Ceiling Report, 40% of attorneys are women. Of this number, 25% are partners or owners of the law firm they work for. This survey was conducted using 300 law firms in the United States.
How can a women owned law firm help you? Below are six reasons hiring a female lawyer will be beneficial to you (and your case).
- Your lawyer will be required to view private medical records.
- Many people feel more comfortable discussing sensitive issues with a woman. A case involving child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence is sensitive. Often a woman can make a person more at ease when discussing these issues.
- Women are better at multitasking and organization.
- You need a lawyer who will be a good listener.
- You need an attorney who has a strong relationship with the community.
- The most successful strategy in law is cooperation. A female attorney understands this.
Filing an Appeal with the Court
The worst-case scenario has occurred, and you have been convicted and sentenced to a lengthy jail term. You feel as though your legal counsel wasn’t completely competent or thorough in representing your case. Do you have any recourse, or must you take the sentence and do the time?
A criminal conviction can be appealed at any time for a number of reasons. The most popular reasons are issues regarding evidence, counsel that was ineffective, or an error committed by the court. You will need a skilled appellate attorney to assist you with your appeal.
Criminal Conduct at Assisted Living Facilities
Most cases involving assisted living facilities are against the facility by residents who have been wronged in some way. But what if you worked at that facility, and you were arrested because you were following an employer’s directive?
If, as an employee of an assisted living facility you have been arrested for negligent behavior, you need legal assistance. Most crimes involving the elderly are felonies, therefore, you could be issued a high bail amount by the court. Leaving you with that awful lingering question–what happens if you cant afford bail?
Fortunately, if you are wondering what happens if you cant afford bail, there are options. One option is a surety bond. This is a way to bail a person from jail if they have no cash. What this involves you having a co-signer. Your co-signer and the bail bond representative then sign an agreement. An insurance company will back up this agreement. Which then requires the bail bond agent and your co-signer to form another agreement with the insurance company.
With so many options available, there is no need to wonder what happens if you cant afford bail ever again.
On a closing note, we have answered the question of what happens if you cant afford bail. You can feel secure in knowing if you are arrested you will not have to stay in jail long. However, if convicted of the crime, that may be a different outcome completely. If you happen to lose your car to a bail bondsman, you might need to look for another car. There are many repairable cars for sale that you might be interested in purchasing.
Getting arrested is not a fun time for anyone involved. The stigma and embarrassment that getting arrest can give a person can be overwhelming. Now that you know that there is an answer to this question. The stress felt when you are wondering what happens if you cant afford bail is lessened.
With the help of a bail bonds agent, proper collateral, and best of all a good attorney your legal issues will be resolved. We hope your future will not have you asking what happens if you cant afford bail.