No one likes receiving that call– a friend, family member, or loved one has just been arrested. Not only are you worried for your loved one’s well being, but you also now have to come up with the money to post bail. And sometimes, bail can be a lot.
Fortunately, there are a number of options you can pursue to get your loved one released from jail. Whether you’re paying the full amount yourself, hiring a bail bondsman, or pursuing a third option, it’s important to fully evaluate your situation and decide what’s best for you and yours.
At Jacqui Ford Law, we can help. Here’s some information to get you started.
How do I post bail in OKC?
The first option you have is to pay the bail amount yourself. When you do this, you make a payment to the court ensuring that, if the person charged with the crime is released from jail, they will return for their court date. If they do, the amount paid will be refunded, regardless of the outcome of the case.
Bail should be available in the case of almost any arrest, with the exception of those facing severe criminal charges like homicide. The amount itself can depend on a variety of factors, including the following:
the severity of the crime
the arrested person’s previous criminal record
the alleged danger that they will pose to the community should they be released
the likelihood that they will fail to show up for their court date
In the state of Oklahoma, you can post bail with cash or a cashier’s check. However, in many cases, the amount is too high to pay out of pocket. In these cases, people will often secure the services of a bail bondsman.
Should I hire a bail bondsman?
A bondsman is an agent who will post bail for individuals who don’t have the cash to pay it themselves, usually for a fee calculated as some percentage of the total amount of the bail bond. The bondsman is then financially responsible if the defendant should fail to show up for their court date.
This means that if you hire a bondsman and then fail to show up to all your court dates, your bondsman may seek to recover the full amount from you. In addition, the bondsman will keep the fee that you paid at the beginning of the process. The standard fee is 10%, but a bondsman may charge a flat rate for smaller bond amounts.
In many cases, however, it’s advisable to save your money and hire an attorney, rather than spending that money on a bondsman. If the charge is serious enough, having an experienced defense attorney can mean the difference between doing jail time and walking free.
What happens if I don’t post bail?
If you do choose to forgo paying bail, your loved one will have to stay in custody until their trial begins. This can sometimes take weeks or even months.
There are even some circumstances in Oklahoma under which a person may be released without paying bail. For example, under a conditional bond, the arrested person doesn’t have to pay the court to be released from custody, but they do have to follow a certain set of rules governing their behavior until the trail begins.
Whatever decision you make, it’s important that you show up for your court dates and play by the rules. If you pay your bail with a bondsman and then skip town, that bondsman has the authority to track you down and bring you back for your trial — not to mention the legal trouble you will be in for missing your court dates.
Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma City
Whether it’s you sitting in the jail cell or a loved one, the process of posting bail and beginning the criminal process is a stressful one, to say the least. That’s why it’s important to have experienced representation that can advocate for your rights every step of the way and make sure you receive the best defense you can receive. Contact Jacqui Ford Law today for help.