If you've been charged with a crime and you're being taken into police custody, you'll need to arrange for a bail release as quickly as possible. The best way to do that is with a bail bond—even if you have the funds to pay your bail in cash. While paying cash for your bail may seem like your best option, it actually comes with a few pitfalls. Here are just four of the reasons why you shouldn't use cash to secure your bail release.
Your Account Will Be Frozen
If you've been arrested, and you've decided to use the cash in your bank account to secure your release, you may want to rethink that decision. Once you use a bank account to secure your release, the funds in that account will be frozen, which means that you won't be able to use any of the funds until your case is finalized. Unfortunately, that means that additional funds, such as direct deposit benefit payments or your spouse's paychecks, will also be frozen. To protect the cash in your bank account, you should work with a bail bond agent instead.
You May Forfeit Some of Your Money
When you obtain a bail bond, you pay about 10 percent of the cost in cash, and the remainder is paid in the form of collateral. Once your case is finalized, the collateral is returned. The only cash you lose is the 10 percent you provided to the bail bond agency. However, when you pay your bail with cash, you may end up forfeiting some or all of it. That's because the courts can use that cash to settle debts such as public defender costs and court fees. Not only that, but if you happen to miss a court date and your bail is revoked, all of your cash will be kept. Unfortunately, this includes if you miss a court date through no fault of your own.
Your Bond Will Require Less Upfront Cash
As stated earlier, when you obtain a bail bond, you'll need to provide about 10 percent in cash. However, if you pay cash for your bail release, you'll need to pay the total amount. If your bail is for a minor offense, that might be easy to obtain as a cash payment. Unfortunately, if you've been arrested for a serious offense, you could be required to provide a large cash payment. In this case, a bail bond will not only require less upfront cash, but it will also allow you to leave police custody quicker.
You May Not Qualify for a Public Defender
If you're going to require a public defender, you'll want to avoid paying cash for your bail. In some cases, the courts view cash payments for bail as a sign that the defendant has the ability to pay for a private attorney. Protect your right to free legal representation by securing a bail bond rather than a cash release.Share