Your Guide to Your Loved One’s Arrest and Bail

If you found out that a friend or family member has been arrested, you may want to do anything that you can to help him or her out. This often involves paying a bondsman to help post bail. Here is what you need to know about the arrest and bail process.

The Arrest and Booking

Once your loved one is arrested, he or she is beyond your control. After the initial arrest, he or she will booked into the jail before the bail hearing. This is where the jail processes him or her. The defendant will have his or her fingerprints and picture taken and will have to surrender any personal items.

The Bail Hearing

Your friend or family member will attend a bail hearing where his or her bail is determined by the judge. There are several factors that a judge will look at when determining whether a defendant qualifies for bail and what the final amount should be.

One of the major factors in determining bond is the nature of the crime. The worse the offense, the higher the bail is going to be. Violent or repeat offenders are more likely to have a higher bail for their crimes. Another factor is the defendant’s income and asset level. If the defendant has a lot of assets or is a flight risk, then the court may increase bond to ensure that he or she shows up for the court date.

The Bail Bond

Most people in the United States cannot afford to pay bail. Most rely on bail bonds. After your loved one’s bail hearing, you would go to a bail bonds office to speak with an agent. Often, the agent will charge you a 10 percent fee. If the bondsman agrees to pay the bail, there will be conditions. If your loved one fails to show up for his or her court date, then you could be obligated to pay the full bail amount. Agents in bail bonds Scranton PA defendants trust may also set conditions as to where the defendant is allowed to travel while waiting for his or her travel.

Most people will use a bondsman to help pay bail. If you decide to help your loved one post bail, keep in mind that he or she will have certain conditions and still has to go to court on a select date. If he or she does not show up, you could have to pay the full bail amount.