Approximately 52% of all American men will find themselves under arrest at least once during their lives, according to statistics. The journal, ‘Pediatrics” reported in 2011 that one in three people will find themselves in this position by the time they reach 23 years old. If you find yourself asking a friend, “why do you need bail?” you should know that there has been an increase of 30% in the number of people who find themselves needing to be bailed out of jail. That increase was from 1990 through 2006, the last year these statistics were released. The chances that you or someone you know may need to be bailed out of jail are much better than you would think.
Why do you need bail?
If you have been arrested, you may be scared. If this is your first time in jail, the chances are good that you are terrified. You do not know what to expect or what will happen. It is a scary and stressful experience, no doubt about it. Typically, after you have been arrested you are taken to a holding cell until you have been processed. You may be brought in front of a judge who will decide if you get bail.
There are three things that can happen when you go before a judge for the first time:
- They send you home on your on recognizance (OR). If you have strong ties to the community and this is your first offense, you have a good chance of being released OR. Now, this also depends on your charges. If you were charged with attempted murder, OR may not be realistic but for many charges, especially misdemeanors, you may be sent home without having to go through a bail bondsman. You just need to promise to show up in court when you have to.
- They give you bail. If the judge thinks there is more of a risk but you should have a chance to get out before your case is decided, they will set a bail amount for you. They will set the bond to correspond with the risk they think you pose to society. This can be very subjective. If you have been charged with driving under the influence and they have been impacted by this kind of crime, you may get a larger bond. You can speak for yourself in these instances but if the judge wants to set a high bond, they will. Remember, the bail bond agency will only need 10% of the full amount. Some bail bond service companies will take 5% and give you a payment plan.
- They deny bond. There are some charges for which judges will issue no bond. Most violations of probation, for instance. Also, the more serious crimes or if you have bee arrested for something that you have been arrested for before. You can make the case for why you need bail but unless it is really compelling, it may not work. Now, this is not to say that you should not try. Always remember, they cannot say yes if you do not ask.
At the end of the day, there are some real reasons for needing bail. If your family or friends wonder why do you need bail, you need it to effectively defend yourself. Some bail bonds companies have been known to tell the friends and family of people in jail that they can do anything in jail to defend themselves that they can do outside of jail. There is nothing that is further from the truth. Access to the phone and to information is severely limited in jail. The best thing you can do if you have been arrested and offered bail is get out as soon as you can.
Few experiences are as stressful as spending any time in jail. While the criminal justice system is supposed to consider people to be innocent until proven guilty, there is nothing that happens in jail to indicate the jail staff believes that. Why do you need bail? To maintain your sanity. You will be better able to defend yourself from home than in jail.