When a person gets arrested and charged with a crime, it usually takes weeks or months before his case goes to trial. Depending on the charge, an accused person may be allowed to post bail so that he doesn’t have to sit in jail during that time. However, what if the accused can’t afford to make bail?
This is the question that investigative reporter Lise Olsen aimed to find the answer to in her Houston Chronicle article. Below are the results of her investigation:
“Criminal defendants too poor to bail out of jail prior to trial typically end up with a harsher punishment in Harris County than those with resources to pay for their freedom, according to a new study of more than 6,500 cases.
The study showed that the poor and others locked up weeks or months pretrial often pay in advance for alleged crimes – even when proven innocent – and usually end up with tougher punishments, too, according to an analysis by Gerald R. Wheeler, a Ph.D. researcher who served as director of the Harris County pretrial department from 1977-83.
Many defendants unable to post bond spent weeks or months in jail awaiting punishment even for relatively minor offenses, such as possession of small amounts of drugs or misdemeanor charges like trespassing.”
Don’t let this happen to you. If you ever get arrested, know that you can turn to an Arlington bail bonds provider for help.
How can a bail bonds provider help?
A bail bondsman will post a bond on the accused’s behalf that guarantees his appearance at court for the duration of his trial. With a bail bond, the bondsman promises the court that he will be the one responsible for the full bail amount if the accused fails to live up to the terms of release, like appearing on every single court date.
The Bail Bondsman’s Risk
If the accused fails to appear in court, the bail is forfeited, and the bondsman will have to pay the full bail amount. This means that the bondsman takes a significant risk when he approves a bail bond, and for this, he charges a fee and may require a collateral, which can be a piece of land, a house, a life insurance policy, or anything of considerable value. The fee is usually 10 percent of the bail amount set by the judge.
Upon arrest and once the bail has been set for your case, work with a trusted bail bondsman ASAP to ensure your immediate release. Get in touch with a reliable provider of bail bonds in Arlington, Texas so he can work on your case at once.
(Source: Study: Inmates who can’t afford bond face tougher sentences, Houston Chronicle, September 15, 2013)