How to Be Ready if You Get Arrested and Need a Bail Out
Sep 24, 2018 22:32
As Physics teaches, ‘for every action there is an (equal and) opposite reaction’. When poor decisions and offenses against the law end up dictating a person’s life, getting arrested is just a step away - and ignorance is no excuse.
The Rundown - Steps Summary
First and foremost: if things are already in motion and you’re being told you’re under arrest, resistance (verbal and physical) is not only useless but also highly counter-productive. If an officer puts handcuffs on you, assume that there is probable cause that you committed an offense, or a legitimate warrant has been issued for your arrest. Either way, there is little you can do or say to somehow divert the arrest that is in progress.
Resisting arrest in any way, or worse, assaulting the arresting officer(s) is sure to complicate your situation as, even if you are subsequently released in connection with the initial allegations, you can easily get booked again on these new charges.
Secondly: the Miranda warning (‘You have the right to remain silent...’) only applies when you are in custody and asked guilt-establishing questions. Upon arrest, should an officer ask you administrative questions (i.e. ‘What is your full name and social security number?’) or safety questions (i.e. ‘Do you have any dangerous items on your person?’), it is in your best interest to provide the necessary information. Requesting it without Miranda does not infringe on your rights, and given the context, you don’t need to escalate the situation further.
Expect to be physically searched - this constitutes "incident to arrest" and does not require your consent. You will be transported to the jail for booking and detention. Do keep in mind that anything relevant you might say during transport can be included in the arrest report and taken into consideration by the Court - so definitely mind your mouth.
At the jail, your handcuffs will be removed you will be processed. What happens next depends on your charges. If you were brought in on a warrant, you could be out within thirty minutes to an hour after your bail bondsman or other representative (family member, friend, acquaintance etc.) posts the required bond. If they can’t or won’t post it, then you’re in for an extended jail stay. You will be given a jail uniform, get assigned to a cell block, and become subject to all applicable jail policies.
Modern Catch & Release
That is the oversimplified description of how bail works. It enables the release of an accused person in exchange for a specific sum of money, which the court retains until all legal proceedings carried out in relation with that person are finalized. The court assumes that the defendant has extra motivation to show up for court dates in order to recover the money.
Not everyone can produce the full bail amount; as a result many individuals chose to obtain a bail bond (typically covering the entire needed sum) from a bail bonding agency or bail bondsman. The bondsman or bail bonding agency pays the entire amount to the court and gets it all back only if the defendant is present for all court dates. In the majority of cases, the bail bond comes with a fee of 10% of the bail amount which is non-refundable and accounts for the risk of the defendant not showing up for his/ her court dates. The 10% fee represents profit for the bondsman (or bail bond agency) and you should be aware that ‘jumping bond’ and skipping court dates after having been bonded out, means eventually having bounty hunters after you. Needless to say that’s not a position you’d want to be in, so make sure you are both able and willing before committing to a bail bond scenario.
On a Final Note
Having to deal with bail-related money issues undoubtedly adds to the stressful situation you’re already experiencing, but if you were to balance that against statistics (88% of cases get dismissed or resolved with no criminal records when bail bonds are involved), you might find that there’s a silver lining after all.
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