Arrested and All Alone: Can You Bail Yourself Out of Jail?
You’ve made a mistake. And now you find yourself in jail. It can be tough and scary, especially since you’re all alone.
Now, you’ll probably need to post bail. If you’re unable to do so, you’ll have to stay in jail until your trial.
In most cases, people have someone on the outside to help them out. But can you bail yourself out of jail?
So, Can You Bail Yourself Out of Jail?
While it’s certainly possible to bail yourself out of jail, the chances of you being able to do it are fairly low. This is because you need to have the full bail amount on you at the time of your arrest, in cash. Since it’s fairly unlikely that you’ll have that sort of money on hand, you probably won’t be able to bail yourself out of jail.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have options though. While you can’t always bail yourself out of jail, there are other approaches available if you don’t have any friends or family to help you out.
In the very likely occurrence that you don’t have the cash set for your bail, you can always enlist the services of a bail bondsman. When you hire one, they’ll pay for your bail with what’s called a bail bond. This bail bond is basically an agreement between the accused, the courts, and the bail bondsman.
The bail bondsman will charge you a fee for their services. Typically, this will be around 15% of the total bail amount. This fee is non-refundable, even in the event that you’re found innocent on all charges.
When you’ve paid all of the fees, the bondsman will pay the bail amount in full. This works somewhat like a loan. You’ll be expected to pay the bondsman back in full.
You Might Need to Offer Collateral
In some cases, the bondsman will require you provide some kind of collateral. This could be a piece of jewelry, the deed to your home, or it could be a car.
In order to minimize the risk of you not turning up to your court date, bondsmen often have a few preferences. For example, they often prefer a friend or relative put up the collateral for your bond. This is because you’re less likely to skip your court date if it’ll affect your loved ones.
They might also make sure you check in at the bail bond office periodically to make sure you haven’t skipped town. If you have no one available to assist you, you might find it difficult to find a bondsman willing to work with you.
Choose the Right Bondsman
Not all bondsman are created equal. Like any business, some bondsman will offer better service than others. Do as much research as you can, and only work with bail bondsmen who are properly licensed.
Although the question “can you bail yourself out of jail?” has the disappointing answer of “no”, know that you still have hope with a good bondsman.
Need more information about the bail bond process? Check out our bail bond process page.