One of the first questions you might ask when you are helping someone get out of jail is how much the bail is set at. The bail amount is the amount you must pay in order for the jail to release this person, and it can be set very low or very high. If the amount is really high, you might wonder if it is negotiable, and here are several things to understand about this question.
You cannot negotiate bail
When you find out the bail amount, you should understand that it really is not negotiable. The local court is responsible for determining how much bail will be, and most courts have a schedule that lists the type of crime along with the bail amount for the crime. It is important to know, though, that courts do not simply base this decision on the schedule alone. Instead, they will also take other factors into consideration when setting bail, and one such factor is a person's criminal record. If a person is on probation at the time, for example, they court might increase the bail amount from the amount it states on the schedule. Once set, you cannot negotiate on the amount.
You can get your friend out by paying less
No matter how much the bail is, you could always get a person out of jail by paying less than the amount of the bail. To do this, you would need to purchase a surety bond, also called a bail bond. A bail bond allows you to bail someone out of jail by paying only around 10% of the bail amount. If the bail is $5,000, you could get the person out by paying just $500 instead of the full amount.
You could also use collateral instead of cash
The other thing to understand is that you can also bail a person out of jail with collateral instead of cash. If you have no cash at all to use but have an asset that is very valuable, you could turn that item in and use it as collateral instead of paying cash for the fee of a bail bond.
As you are looking for a way to bail someone out of jail, you will likely need to turn to a bail bondsman for help. While a bail bondsman cannot get the bail amount lowered, they can help you get someone out of jail by offering you a loan for this purpose. For more information, contact local bail bond services.