Jail sucks. I can’t think of anyone who thinks otherwise. However, when you have been arrested, there is a serious decision to be made about whether to bail out quickly or wait until court. Let’s weigh the pros and cons.
First, in all cases the pro of bailing out is – you are OUT!
Also, bailing out allows your attorney and you an opportunity to slow down and take a very calculating approach to the defense.
Sometimes, though, if you have the patience to wait, it may be better to hold off on posting bail for a number of reasons.
- Bail can be expensive and if you post a bond, that’s money you never get back; money that could be better spent on legal counsel.
- If law enforcement and/or prosecutors are not ready to file formal charges against you and bring you before a judge within 48 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, they have to let you go for free.
- Many law enforcement agencies will arrest people knowing they will bail out – even knowing they would not be ready to bring you to court within the required time – which puts you under their thumb and gives law enforcement up to a year on misdemeanors and 3 years or more on felonies to actually have charges brought against you. Basically, you are buying them time.
- Not bailing out forces police to speed up their investigation, which could create more errors for your attorney to use against them.
- In cases where a conviction is highly likely, one may choose to not post bail because he is racking up credit for time served before the case is ever filed, rather than bailing out only to have to go right back in a few weeks or months.
In all cases, the decision to bail out is personal. If you do decide to post a bond, be sure you find a bail company that is worthy of your trust. I have seen and worked with some very good and trustworthy bail agents…I have also seen some very, very shady ones.