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How Do Bail Bonds Work?

If you get arrested on a criminal charge, you may hear about bail bonds. You should be given a bail hearing in front of a judge and then the amount of your bail will be told to you. Instead of paying the full amount to get out of jail, bail bonds can be used to get you out of jail until your next court date. A Des Moines criminal defense lawyer can tell you more.

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What Exactly Are Bail Bonds?

Bail bonds can be used when you can pay part of the bail amount set, but not the entire amount. You just need a bail bondsman. They will charge you 10% of the bail upfront. There might also be fees. Then they will take enough collateral from you and your family to equal the rest of the bail amount.

What Happens if I Do Not Show Up for Trial?

If you do not show up for trial, you would be giving up any collateral that you or your family put up to the bail bondsman. You would also lose whatever money you contributed to your own bail. Paying bail and not actually showing up for court is a costly mistake that we do not recommend that you make.

How Are the Amounts on Bail Bonds Set?

The amount of your bail, and thus the amount you would need to spend on bail bonds, is set by the judge. The judge has a significant amount of authority here. They generally look at the severity of the crime committed, the criminal history of the defendant, and whether or not they could be a danger to others if let out of prison between now and their court dates.

Then the amount of bail is set. That will determine how much you will owe on a bail bond and if you will have the necessary collateral. A bail that gets set too high could be impossible for you to pay, even if you only have to put up a portion of it for the bail bondsman.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me?

A lawyer can help you in a few different ways, but their representation at a bail hearing can be key. The judge has a lot of discretion when it comes to setting bail, so they are often susceptible to arguments from the state or the defense when they ask for stricter or more lenient bail requirements. Your attorney can help you argue for a lower bail amount by emphasizing your lack of criminal history or arguing that you would not be a danger to others.

Contact Our Law Firm

If you are facing criminal charges, you want to be sure that you are forming the best possible defense. Penalties for a criminal conviction can be quite harsh and a criminal case can even derail your life completely. Contact Herting Law, PLLC and get a caring, experienced defense attorney on your side. Schedule a consultation today.

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