After being arrested and charged with a crime, before you can actually get to work on your defense case, the first thing that you need to worry about is actually spending time in a jail cell. For most people, the thought of being in jail for more than an hour is unbearable; as soon as bail is set, they dig into their savings accounts to get out and go home. While there is certainly plenty of good to being able to go about your life like normal as your criminal case develops, is it always in your best interests to pay bail at the absolutely first chance you get?
Why You Might Want to Bail Later
The first time you are told your bail amount is probably not the definitive bail amount for your case. If circumstances shift, it can go up or down. Paying your bail immediately is not beneficial in either altered situation.
Imagine that you pay $10,000 to get out on bail the day you are arrested. You are barely able to afford that amount but you were lucky enough to make it work. Two days later at your first court hearing date, the judge reviews your charges again and decides to set bail at $12,000 instead. If you can't pay that extra amount, you are going right back to jail until you do. Essentially, you just paid $10,000 to be out of jail for only two days. Don't worry – you will get that amount back when your case concludes, but it is a huge burden for basically nothing in the meantime.
Bail will never drop on its own, but that doesn't mean that it can't be reduced. At your first court hearing, if you have retained the services of a lawyer, they might be able to negotiate with the judge to set your bail lower to something you can afford without needing to hire a bail bondsman who will take 10% of your bail amount and keep it. Bail bondsmen don't return their service fees if the bail drops later, either, so if you hire one upfront but get the amount lowered at your hearing, that money is gone for good.
Use Your Phone Call to Reach a Lawyer
At the Law Office of Frances Prizzia, you can find a highly-experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney to help you manage your criminal case. We encourage you to use your first phone call after being arrested to dial 888.392.8114 and connect with our law firm. Starting with a
free consultation, we can hear the details of your charges and help you decide if you should post bail now or wait until your first hearing, which we may be able to attend when you retain our services.