When you’re arrested and taken to jail, you may have to wait several weeks or even months for your case to close. Processing a case and securing a conviction or acquittal can take a long time depending on the type of legal representation you have and the complexity of your case. The court also has hundreds, possibly even thousands, of cases to process and only so many hours in a day.
That’s why judges set bail — to give defendants the opportunity to get out of jail while they await the outcome of their case. Although you can certainly stay in jail while your case is being processed, doing so probably isn’t in your best interest.
Why not? Here are six reasons you don’t want to stay in jail until your hearing.
1. Posting Bail May Give You an Opportunity to Demonstrate Good Faith
When you’ve been accused of a crime, it’s in your best interest to do whatever you can to improve the court’s opinion of you. Getting out of jail on bail may be able to help you do that.
While you’re out on bail, you can secure employment, which can help demonstrate to the court that you’re working to be a more productive and upstanding member of society.
2. You’ll Be Uncomfortable
Jail isn’t a nice place. The food is awful and usually lacking, and in most cases, the company isn’t great either. The beds are rigid. The temperature is never comfortable, and everything smells weird. Inmates get into fights. Guards can be very difficult to deal with, and you won’t have access to any of the normal comforts of living you’re used to.
If other inmates are sick, you’ll likely get sick too. And often, jails lack adequate medical resources and care, which may put your health at risk. You’ll only be able to speak with friends and loved ones over the phone or via a television screen periodically, which can feel remarkably isolating.
Ultimately, jail is a highly uncomfortable place, and it’s not somewhere anyone wants to be for long.
3. You Might Not Actually Get Sentenced to Jail Time
If you’re fairly confident you’ll be convicted of your alleged crime, you might assume staying in jail is your best option since time served will be deducted from your overall sentence. And while that thought process does make sense, it doesn’t consider the fact that you might not actually get sentenced to jail time.
Since many jails are grossly overcrowded these days, not every inmate who gets convicted ends up getting sentenced to more time. You might get sentenced to house arrest instead or even probation or community service.
If you stay in jail and don’t get sentenced to time, you’ll have wasted many weeks or even months of your life waiting for your case to close.
4. Your Case Could Go Stale
Cases don’t go stale often, but it does happen, and it’s something you need to think about while considering whether or not to post bail.
What exactly is a stale case? It’s a case that’s brought before the court after the statute of limitations has expired. This can occur when a busy prosecutor processes a case more slowly because the defendant posted bail and is not being held in custody.
When a case gets processed more slowly than usual, witnesses may no longer be available for testimony when the case is finally brought before the judge. And when there aren’t any available witnesses, a defendant may end up getting a better deal.
5. Anything You Say Can Be Used Against You
Ears are everywhere in jail, and the longer you stay, the more likely you are to inadvertently say something incriminating. When you talk on the phone, your conversations are recorded. When you’re chatting with other inmates, guards can hear what you say. And even if you’re conversing with a fellow inmate in confidence, there’s no guarantee that person won’t repeat your words to someone else.
Posting bail takes you out of a situation wherein anything you say can be used against you in court. If you’re at all worried you might utter something you’ll regret, you definitely don’t want to stay in jail until your hearing.
6. Jail Is Expensive
You might be in jail, unable to work, but that doesn’t mean your bills stop coming. If you live paycheck to paycheck, or your family relies on a certain degree of financial support from you, staying in jail could put your or your family’s finances in jeopardy.
Even if posting bail might be a stretch for you financially, it’s likely worth it. Otherwise, you’ll continue incurring all of your normal monthly expenses with no additional income to pay for them.
Get a Fast Bail Bond in Tarrant or Dallas County
Do you need to bail a loved one out of a Dallas or Tarrant County jail? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Just Bail Bonds for help. Our licensed bail agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we’ve proudly served the Dallas–Fort Worth area for more than 26 years. To get started, call us today at 817-303-3400 (Tarrant) or 214-495-1363 (Dallas) or reach out online with any questions or concerns, and we’ll be in touch.