The Secrets To Getting Free Or Affordable Bail Bonds

The answer is often yes, there can be affordable bail bonds, no collateral bail bonds and in some cases, even free bail bonds.

There are a number of tricks and little known loopholes in getting free bail bonds, no collateral bail bonds or at least affordable bail bonds. Even if you go through a bail bondsman, there are ways to minimize your costs. The advantage is that the bondsman can provide guidance, knows how the process works, and can post bail to get your loved one released, usually within a few hours. For some people, this can be a very intimidating and confusing process.

However, if you can’t or don’t want to pay a bail bondsman, or just don’t feel they offer affordable bail bonds, what can you do?

Here are a few options to get affordable bail bonds:

*You can ask the court to release the defendant on their own recognizance (known as OR). Depending on the severity of the crime, the court may release a defendant on their own recognizance without the need for bail. This is based on how much the court thinks is the risk of the defendant not showing up for their court appearances. They may look at past convictions (if any), and if the defendant has been shown to be a generally good citizen among other things. When granted, the defendant is released with a written promise to appear in court. No bail necessary.

affordable bail bonds*You can ask for a “Citation Release” known as a “Cite Out.” The judge issues a citation to the defendant, informing the defendant that they must appear for an appointed court date. Depending on the jursidiction, this is often (but not always) used for less serious infractions. No bail necessary.

*If bail is set, you may still be able to request a Motion to Modify a Bond. This bail bonds process is typically confirmed by writing and your hearing date will be scheduled. Sometimes they will hear your motion on a letter and not require you to appear. We have found that judges and presecutors are often open to negotiating on this. You may have to agree to do things like agreeing to undergo counseling, to stay away from the victim, or to undergo in-house arrest. If bail is modified it may be heavily reduced or even dropped, so there will be no bail necessary.

*You can put up the money yourself and pay the bail in full. By doing this you do not need to pay the bail fee and that might make for more affordable bail bonds. If you don’t have the money to do this, you may need to take a collection from friends and family members. After the trial, everyone will get a full refund with the possible exception of minor court fees, so there is no risk (assuming the defendant makes all court appearances). TIP: Some bail bondsmen that we have talked to will help you pay the bond yourself and even coordinate the pooling of funds for a small fee. This may be worthwhile if you are having a hard time navigating the system while your loved one sits in jail.

*Obtain financing. There are some banks that do this, and in many cases the bail bonding agencies will provide affordable bail bonds financing as well. In some cases 100%! Sometimes the bondsman will want to see paychecks to show that you are working and can make the payments. If this is a problem, ask if they can accept multiple co-signers. They may be willing to finance if two or more people can sign the financing contract. Please visit bail bond/surety websites for more information about this.

*Request the judge set an unsecured bail. This means you don’t have to put up any money or collateral but you promise to pay the bail in full and forfeit your money should you not make your court appearances. This affordable bonding method was made famous when used during the sexual abuse charges against Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

* The agents who are using modern technology such as websites, and online bail capabilities are now exploring GPS bracelets on defendants. With these, the bondman can keep track of your whereabouts and that means they have less risk of you skipping bail and leaving them holding the bag on your bond. With less risk, they are finding that they don’t always need collateral. In fact, for those that qualify, many bail bondsman are providing bail with no collateral requirements at all. The new bracelets are waterproof, small, light, and non-descript. If you don’t have collateral, we strongly recommend that you email a few bondsmen and ask if they use GPS monitoring for clients.

What If You Don’t Have Affordable Bail Bonds or Can’t Afford The Bail Or Need Bail Bonds Without Collateral For The Bail Amount?

*If the bail has been set, and you can not afford it, most jurisdictions will allow you to appeal the bond through your attorney.

*You may be able to file a notice of appeal based on your lack of funds. This is sometimes called Poor Peoples Relief.

*In some areas there are private organizations and publicly funded organizations that may help you with the bail or give you recommendations. They vary across the country. For example, in New York City there are several such as the Legal Aid Society, the 18-B Panel of the Appellate Division, the New York County Defenders Services, and Neighborhood Defender Services.

*It can vary depending on the area and jurisdiction. An example for cheap bail bonds Las Vegas is a city that has many options unavailable elsewhere. Another example would be the variety of options offered by bail bondsman New York City.

No collateral bail bonds

TIP: If you do go to a bail bondsman, ask if they can provide a no-collateral bail (sometimes known as a “signature bond” because all that is required is your signature and the fee). If you have to go through them, this method may allow you to get the bail without tying up all your funds as well. That money may be needed for other court and attorney costs later.

Bail Remission

If for some reason you made a mistake and missed your required court hearings, the courts will typically keep your bail deposit. However, in some jurisdictions like New York City, you can request a Bail Remission. This is a process where you can request to have your bail that was forfeited to be refunded to you. TIP: The courts that allow this will rarely tell you about this option, so remember to ask.

For more information from a strictly academic perspective, here is the “legal speak” version from Cornell Law School regarding affordable bail bonds and getting collateral for bail bonds.

Nothing stated herein should be construed or interpreted to grant rights or remedies not otherwise granted under federal or state law. This information is provided as a public service and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice or representation by a lawyer or bail bondsman. We recommend you email a bail bondsman for more information about your situation and affordable bail bonds.

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