An arrest is not a pleasant experience for anyone, but finding out a loved one was arrested can be very stressful. Not only will you have to contend with the physical and emotional aspects of their arrest, but you will most likely be responsible for the financial distress associated with your loved one's arrest. Posting bail is an efficient option for getting your loved one released from jail. However, depending on your loved one's charge, you may not have the funds available to pay the bail. With this guide, you will have a better understanding of posting bail.

The 411 on Bail

Before you determine how you will pay bail, you need to understand what it actually is. Basically, bail is an agreement between the judge and the person charged to get out of jail while they are awaiting court to learn if they will be absolved or convicted of the crime. The total amount of bail required to get your loved one out of jail will depend on the actual crime.

Most judges have a set amount for certain types of crime. For example, for a nonviolent misdemeanor, such as a minor drug possession charge or disorderly conduct charge, the bail may be set at $500. More serious charges, such as rape or murder, will have a much larger bail amount, if bail will even be granted.

It is important to note this agreement comes with many stipulations or conditions. While your loved one is out on bail, they will need to obey all laws, follow a curfew, maintain employment, and comply with travel restrictions.

Just as the bail amount will depend on the crime, the specific conditions of bail will also depend on the crime.

Paying Bail

For many families, posting bail of a few hundred dollars is simple. For others, paying any amount to bail their loved one out can be challenging. Of course, the method in which you pay may depend on the total amount of bail.

Selling a few of your loved one's belongings may earn you enough to post their bail in full. If your loved one's crime was more involved and they have a much higher bail amount, selling real estate, vehicles, or even taking second mortgages or personal loans may be necessary.

Fortunately, bail bond services are available for families who do not have access to the funds to post bail. For a fee, the bail bondsman will pay your loved one's bail on your behalf. However, paying the fee is not the only requirement when securing a bail bond to get your loved one out of jail.

Once released, your loved one will need to follow certain conditions. These conditions are similar to the conditions set by the court when designating bail. Your loved one must follow laws and appear at all of their scheduled court dates.

As long as your loved one follows all conditions, the bail bondsman will get the bail money back, but they will get to keep the fee you paid for the bond no matter what.

There are risks if you post bail for a loved one. If they do not show up for their court dates, you may be held responsible for the bail amount, since you posted bail with the help of a bondsman. A judgment for the bond amount may be placed on you and any collateral that you used to put towards the bail may be sold and awarded to the bondsman.

It is essential to give the bondsman all information necessary so they can locate your loved one, ensuring they are brought back into custody after skipping out on bail.

Posting bail for a loved one can be a difficult decision. This guide will help you understand the bail process and options for paying this amount to get your loved one released from jail.