Pennies for Prison: How Does Posting Bail Work?

From the time you realize that you are under arrest until you have completed the booking and intake process, one thought is on your mind. That thought is, ‘how am I going to get out of this?’

Luckily, going to jail does not mean you will have to wait for your trial which could be months away. There is a chance you can actually get out the same day or within a very short amount of time. This is due to the bail system.

How does posting bail work? This process isn’t supremely complicated, but for first-timers, it can be daunting. We are going to take a look at this process that will allow you to have your freedom while awaiting judgment. Keep reading for more information!

Setting Bail

Once you’ve been arrested, you will begin the process of intake and booking–this is a long and drawn out information collection process. While you wait, you may be allowed to use the phone to contact relatives, an attorney or a bail bondsman.

Your first thought might be to call for bail, but it is unlikely that the amount has been set. Depending on the crime you are charged with, the bail amount may be preset or set by a judge. The judge will consider past offenses if you are a flight risk, and how likely you are to show up for your court date.

Even though the amount may not have been set, it is still a great idea to begin calling bondsmen. They can check the status of your bail and start the paperwork for your release sometimes before any amount is determined.

Deciding on a Bondsman

Bail bondsmen get a bad reputation for being rough around the edges, crass, or too eager to arrest someone for a bounty. This is mostly from television and movies.

Professional, licensed bondsmen understand they run a business and that not everyone they deal with is a criminal.

Most people decide on a bail bonding company based on their rates. The ‘rates’ we’re talking about is the percentage of the bail that you must pay, kind of like an insurance premium.

Depending on your area, you might hear quotes as low as 10% or as high as 20%. Often, there are laws in place to keep companies from price gauging. D&D Bail Bonds is a prime example of a fair and professional company that can work to ensure your quick release.

How Does Posting Bail Work: Other Key Points

So, how does posting bail work? It can be summed up as a jail setting a bail amount for you to get out of jail. If you cannot pay that amount, you pay a percentage to a bail bondsman who will secure your release. You attend court, and hopefully, get acquitted or the charges dropped.

It’s important to realize that when you are out on bail, you should be on your best behavior. Aside from having to deal with the law, you could potentially have your bail bondsman come after you for breaking the terms of your bond.

Finally, don’t listen to jailhouse lawyers when it comes to the best bond rates. Call a trusted attorney or friend instead. Many criminal attorneys have working relationships with bondsmen in order to save their clients’ money.

If you enjoyed this article but still need help getting out of legal trouble, check out this blog!

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.