Do I Need a Lawyer to Post Bail?

If you have been charged with a crime, posting bail allows you to avoid going to jail while you wait for your trial date. The bail amount will depend on various factors, including the nature and severity of the crime you are accused of committing. In Georgia, bail is meant to ensure that a suspect of a crime will not flee if released from custody. In most cases, bail is set at a high amount so that the defendant is more likely to stay in the jurisdiction and appear in court so they can get their money back.

If you are facing criminal charges, it is highly recommended that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will review the details of your case and negotiate a reasonable bail amount. This will allow you to alleviate some of the stress of a pending criminal case and focus on preparing your defense.

What Is Bail?

Bail is a set amount of money you will have to pay to be released from custody until your criminal case is finalized. While posting bail allows you to stay out of prison, you are required to remain in your jurisdiction as you await your trial. It also reduces overcrowding at jail facilities and the costs associated with imprisoning each inmate, from feeding and housing them to personal hygiene and healthcare costs. Judges will consider a range of factors when determining a bail amount. For example, a judge may set a higher bail amount if the defendant is likely to flee the jurisdiction to avoid a harsh sentence. The following are other factors that will impact the bail amount:

  • How reliable the defendant has been in attending court dates in the past.
  • The severity of the offense.
  • The defendant’s ties to the community.
  • The ability of the defendant to pay.
  • Whether the defendant is a public safety risk.
  • The character of the defendant.
  • How likely it is that the defendant will repeat the same crime.
  • The likelihood of the defendant returning to court and answer the charges.
  • Whether the charge is included in the list of those eligible for bail.

What Is the Difference Between Bail and Bond?

These terms are often used interchangeably, and both allow you to be released from custody while your charges are pending, but there are key differences between the two. Bail is essentially a security deposit that ensures you will appear in court. A bond requires a bondsman or a bonding company to pay the bail if they do not attend court. In most cases, a bonding company will charge between 10 and 15 percent of the bail amount. Four types of bail bonds are used to release a defendant from jail, including the following:

  • Own recognizance: This option is for minor misdemeanors or traffic offenses. In lieu of making a cash payment, you can sign a form promising to attend all court appearances. This is generally not an option in felony cases or more serious misdemeanors.
  • Cash bond: If you choose this option, you must pay the total amount. The benefit of a cash bond is that you get your money back at the end of the case, regardless of the outcome, provided you do not miss a court date. Keep in mind that you will need to pay the bond in cash. Most jurisdictions do not accept credit cards or personal checks.
  • Property bond: You can use your home as collateral to pay bail. To pursue this option, you must meet certain requirements. For example, your mortgage and taxes must be current.
  • Professional bondsman: This may be an option if you cannot afford to post bail. A bonding company will pay the bail amount and charge a non-refundable fee. When your case is resolved, the bail is returned, and the bondman keeps the fee.

How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me Post Bail?

Whether you are facing misdemeanor charges or a more serious felony charge, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can recommend the best legal course of action to help you post bail and ensure your legal rights are protected. Once the bail amount has been determined, your lawyer will thoroughly explain the payment options and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each based on your financial situation.

In addition, a dedicated criminal defense lawyer will present testimony showing that you intend to attend all court dates and that you are not a flight risk. Simply hiring a lawyer demonstrates that you are committed to the judicial process and intend to uphold the conditions of your release. If you want to use a bondsman, your lawyer will recommend a reputable bail bond company and contact them. By having your lawyer handle important bail bond paperwork, you can avoid errors or omissions that are more likely to occur if you handle the process independently. Mistakes in the bail process can lead to frustrating delays.  

Our Savannah Criminal Defense Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Assist Clients With the Process of Posting Bail

If you have been charged with a crime and have questions or concerns about how to post bail, it is recommended that you contact our Savannah criminal defense lawyers at Kicklighter Law as soon as possible. We will discuss the details of your case. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients in Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.