If you can afford to post bail, note that there are several areas where costs can accumulate. Here are some things to be aware of in order to keep your bail costs low.
Ask to Reduce Bail Costs
If you are in a financially difficult place, in some cases your judge may be willing to reduce the cost of your bail so that you have a chance of coming up with the funds. In this case, you would need to speak with a lawyer in order to go through a bail-reduction hearing.
Try to Get the Lowest Premium Possible
Your bail bonds company will take percentage of your total bail costs as their payment. Usually this percentage is between 8 to 10 percent, and it can depend on several factors such as the cost of the bail and the amount of risk you present as a parolee. Each percentage point can make a difference in a bail of many thousand dollars, so make sure to shop around and try to get premiums on the lower end of the spectrum.
Ask for Help in Raising Funds
There are a few places you can turn to for help with bail. Besides asking your friends and family for their financial support, you might be able to ask your bail bonds company itself for help. They might be able to work out a payment plan with you to reduce the burden of bail payment.
Consider How Much Your Collateral Choices Will Cost
A big thing that you can do to help yourself is to consider the costs of your different collateral forms. There are many things that you can present as collateral. For instance, you might wish to put up your home or your car as collateral. You might also opt for a surety bond; this type of bond makes one of your friends or family responsible for payment in case you decide not to show up for your court dates or pay off your bail amounts. Some of these choices can have greater repercussions than others, should you get in trouble. For instance, should you fail to meet your bail requirements will you be out on the streets?
A big part of mitigating your risks is reading the contract thoroughly. Some bail companies will start with legal proceedings the moment you step out of line. Some other bail bonds companies will be more understanding of your circumstances if you have a good reason for a mishap.