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What To Know Before Bailing Your Son Or Daughter Out Of Jail

If you get a call from jail that your son or daughter has been arrested, you'll probably want to get them out of jail as quickly as possible, especially if it's the first time they've had problems with the law. Finding out the details of the case is important so you know if you have to call a lawyer right away, but asking about bail is also a top priority. By posting bail, you may be able to get your child out of jail quickly and worry about other matters later. Here's how it works to bail someone out of jail.

The Bail Amount And Process Varies

The bail process varies among jurisdictions and different bail bond companies. You can get the information you need from the jail where your child is in custody or by calling a bail bond company in the area. If your child is in the same city, bailing them out will be a more convenient process, but you can still help if your child is in another city or state.

Some areas have a set bail amount for specific crimes that you or your child could pay directly to the jail without having to go to court first. If this is your case, then you can get your child out of jail much quicker. The amount of bail usually escalates along with the severity of the crime. Complex or serious charges are a different matter and may require that a judge set the amount of bail after a court appearance. When that happens, your child will have to stay in jail until going before the judge, but you can continue to work on bail while you wait.

A Bail Bond Is Needed When You Don't Have Enough Cash

A small bail amount is easy to pay with cash, but a larger bail may require that you put up collateral, such as your home. You'll need to consider your child's finances and what they can afford before you step in. Your child might have a car or expensive electronic equipment that could be used for collateral even if they don't own a home. If your child comes up short, then you may need to provide the cash or additional collateral so your child can get out of jail.

Know The Risks Of Signing A Bail Bond

If your child has enough cash and assets, you can work on their behalf to get the bond to release them from jail. While this might require contacting a bail bond company and gathering details they need, as long as you don't sign the bond, you're not on the hook for anything. If your child doesn't have enough collateral, you then have to decide if you want to risk yours. This decision should be based on your child's history and the details of the crime rather than being based on emotion. If this is your child's first arrest and your child is normally responsible and can be trusted to make court appearances, then you may feel confident about using your assets for collateral.

You love your child and hate the thought of them spending time in jail, so you're probably inclined to help them the best way you can. But if your child has a drug problem, mental health issue, or is irresponsible, then you could risk losing your collateral and also be responsible for additional charges if your child skips a court date or goes into hiding. Contact a bail service to learn more.