When it comes to being arrested, there are racing thoughts through your head on the possibility of going to jail and how much it’s going to cost. An arrest doesn’t just put a toll on your life but it can have a tremendous cost associated with the arrest depending on what you’re arrested for.
You may be nervous about being arrested and may wonder how you can be released from police custody. Depending on what you’re arrested for, you may be eligible for bond. Contacting a bail bonds company can help you get released from jail or police custody. Bail can cost a lot of money depending on your particular charges. For a misdemeanor level offense, bail can range anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500. For larger offenses such as felony-level offenses, bail can be anywhere from $50,000 and up. A bail bond cuts down the cost so that you only pay 10% of the bond total. This is important for those who don’t have enough money to cover the cost of the bond up front but still need to have the person released so they can continue to work or take care of family.
However, there will be bail stipulations such as remaining free from drugs, alcohol, or the victim depending on the offense, and is typically put in place regardless of whether you use a bail bondsman or pay the bail yourself. If you cover the cost yourself, then the money is fully refunded to you after the court date. If you’re a repeat offender who regularly misses your court dates, however, you may have trouble finding a bail bondsman. This is because the bail bondsman only gets money if you return to court as ordered. If you skip town or in general miss your court date, the bondsman is left on the hook for the full cost of the bail.
One of the second biggest costs of getting arrested is attorney fees. Being arrested and charged with a crime doesn’t always mean you are guilty. The fee for an attorney will depend on how much time the attorney needs to spend working on your case. On average, attorneys get up to $200 per hour and may charge a retainer fee of up to $5,000 to start working on your case. The cost to defend a misdemeanor offense is going to be a lot lower compared to the cost of a felony-level offense. An attorney can help you explain your rights, options and defend your case in court in front of a judge.
If you can’t afford an attorney on your own, then you have two options. The first is to take a court-appointed attorney to represent you. This can work if your case is uncomplicated and your charges easily refuted, or else if you already plan to plead guilty. This is not recommended, however, for more complicated cases as court-appointed attorneys are often overworked and don’t have the time and resources to give your case the proper attention. The second option is to look for an attorney that will take your case pro-bono. This means that they are only paid if you win the case, and they will typically be paid by the court or offending party. This allows you to retain otherwise highly expensive attorneys without having to worry about whether that cost is going to cripple you later.
Court Fees and Restitution
On top of bail fees and attorney fees, there may be court fees associated with the arrest. Court fees may be issued even if the prosecution throws out the case or you are found not guilty. If you’re found guilty, the court may impose fines that could cost hundreds into thousands of dollars. Restitution may also be part of the punishment set forth by the court such as paying for something you have broken. If you have been mandated to complete probation, you will be required to pay for the probation officer, drug testing, ankle monitoring, or a device on your vehicle to prevent drunk driving if you were charged with drunk driving.
Getting arrested not only causes significant strain on you emotionally, but it can also be detrimental to your pockets in the event the prosecution and court issue fines, restitution and you need an attorney. To top this all off, paying all of these court fees and restitution may keep you out of jail allowing you to continue working and moving on with your life.
Author Bio: Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. She highly recommends using bail bonds to reduce bail costs should you find yourself under arrest.