Ways to Post Bail

weighing options in court

If you’ve been suspected of committing a crime, a judge may have ordered you to post bail to stay out of jail until you are required to return to court. The bail amount is set by a judge at the arraignment (or at a hearing, if necessary). There are a number of methods of posting bail. In this article, we’ll explore the options that defendants have to securing their freedom before a court appearance.

Cash
Cash is the most widely accepted form of bail payment. Simply pay the full amount of cash and you will be set free. The money will be refunded 2 – 6 weeks after making your appearance in court.

Check
Similar to cash, a check made out for the full amount can secure your freedom. This option isn’t always accepted by every jurisdiction. After all, a check may be returned with insufficient funds. For this reason, only cashiers checks can be used.

Property
Your property can help you post bail. Signing over ownership rights for your property worth the full amount can be used in lieu of cash. Your property can be your home, your vehicle(s), jewelry, and other forms. If you don’t show up for court, your property will be seized.

Bonds
A bond (known as a “surety bond”) is a guaranteed payment of the full amount. By contacting a bail bondsman, they cover the full amount while a defendant only has to pay 10% of the bail to guarantee their freedom. Some bond sellers may require collateral, which is a financial stake in a person’s property (i.e. vehicle, house) that can make sure that the professional gets a return on their investment should a person not appear in court.

a judge deciding on bail amounts

Remember that your money will be returned for all of the aforementioned methods of payment. However, if you are using a specialist, your money won’t be refunded. Essentially, a bail bondsman puts up the entire amount of bail in exchange for keeping 10% of the bond. If your bail is set at $10,000, you only have to pay $1,000 to guarantee your freedom until your court date.

Credit Card
One of the newer and more controversial methods of posting bond is using a credit card. The reason being that credit itself is a type of loan and may not have the same binding effect that cash or property have on ensuring that people show up for court dates. Services like GovSwipe can assist those that lack the other forms of payment and avoid costly incarceration. Not every state accepts credit cards, and the states that do accept credit cards only accept certain credit cards.

There you have it! These are the more popular methods used to help people get out of jail. If you are in a jam and need to get out fast, the above options will be the easiest route for you and your loved ones. Let me know your thoughts, please leave a comment below.

Should Felons Have the Right to Vote?

I love writing about these controversial topics. They push me to think, research, and search the brains of others. I have never really thought about this particular issue. Now that I have, I cannot stop thinking about it.

I feel pretty passionate about this topic, because I already feel like the prison system is flawed in so many ways. I was reading some comments that people wrote about this topic, and two stuck out at me. They were contrary opinions, but they each made me think. One comment was against felons and prisoners having the right to vote. The comment stated that when prisoners committed their crimes, they have (depending on the crime) taken or affected the rights of others, so their own rights should be taken or affected. I felt that that was a good point. When felons steal, kill, cheat on taxes, etc., they are affecting the rights of others to some degree. However, they are not affecting everything single right that that person has. I personally do not see the correlation between someone stealing and someone voting. I understand that this is a punishment, but I also thought that the prison sentence and being ostracized by society was the punishment. I don’t know if taking away someone’s voting rights is an effective or necessary punishment.

That brings me to the next comment that I read. This comment supported the idea of prisoners (which I am assuming included felons), having the right to vote. The comment stated that prison dehumanizes people enough, which makes it harder from them to be successful when they are finally a part of society again. Taking away the right to vote isolates them even more. I could not agree more with that comment. I wrote an article before that somewhat discussed the dehumanizing issue within prisons. Taking away a felon’s right to vote seems to only serve the purpose of making them feel like they are nothing, I don’t know if that is going to make them feel like they should improve themselves. I don’t.

voting rights for felons

There are also other factors to think about. Perhaps voting should depend on the crime that a person commits. I don’t think that all prisoner’s and felons can be lumped into one category. Some felons made one horrible mistake, others had a bad upbringing, maybe the felon shouldn’t even be a felon at all and the real felon is out there living his life and voting. There may be some felons who should have their voting rights taken away, but I do not believe that that should be a generalized solution.

I am curious to know what you guys think about this. Please share whether you think felons should be allowed to vote or not in the comment section below.

Common Crimes People Are Arrested For

Being arrested is not a common occurrence for most people. Being arrested means that you have been caught doing something illegal or that you are suspected of having committed a criminal offence. There are however common crimes or offences that people are often arrested for more often than other crimes.

Below are the common crimes that people are arrested for:

Assault

People arrested for assault have threatened to commit harm to another person showing that they have the ability to do so. Not to be confused with battery, people charged with assault have not actually carried out the physical harm but only threaten to.

DUI

Being arrested for a DUI means that you were caught driving whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is a common crime that people are arrested for especially during routine traffic stops carried out by police officers.

Disorderly Conduct

graph of crimesPeople arrested for disorderly conduct are deemed to be disturbing the peace. This can apply to people intoxicated in public, loitering or behaving in a disorderly conduct to themselves or others in a public place. Disorderly conduct is not classed as a serious criminal offence but a misdemeanor. Disorderly conduct can include people arrested for fighting in public.

Possession Of Drugs

Possession of illegal narcotics and drugs is an arrest able offence. Each state differs as to the penalties and charges for drug possession. There is a difference between people in possession of small amounts of drugs and those found to be carrying large amounts where there is an intent to sell.

Public Intoxication

If a person is visibly intoxicated in public they can be arrested. Arrests for public intoxication are common, especially around big sporting events or holidays when people consume large amounts of alcohol. People arrested for public intoxication can also be arrested and charged for disorderly conduct if they are disturbing the peace.

Resisting Arrest

A person can be arrested and charged with resisting arrest. This is quite a common crime that people commit when police officers are attempting to apprehend an individual. If a person gives chase or does not cooperate whilst being arrested then they will be charged with resisting arrest.

Vehicle Theft

Motor vehicle theft, or grand theft auto, is a criminal offence that people are commonly arrested for. The be arrested and charged with stealing a motor vehicle the person either needs to have stolen the car or have attempted to steal it.

The Difference Between Prosecution Lawyers and Defence Lawyers

During a trial you often hear of ‘the prosecution’ and ‘the defense’. There is a big difference between the two and the role that each play during a court case. Both the prosecution and defense lawyer are university educated and hold degrees from law school. They have both also passed the state bar exam in the state that they are practicing law. Both are in court with the aim to win the case. However, the prosecution is arguing that the accused is guilty of a crime on behalf of the state and must receive a penalty usually jail time. The defense on the other hand is defending their client against the charges by the state. Before you read this article, this post on Carrington College’s site will provide some more background info.

Here are the key things to know about both:

Prosecution Lawyer

The prosecution lawyer is employed by the government to represent the state in criminal law cases. They can decide to drop charges against the accused in a criminal case, or to press charges and go ahead with a criminal trial. During a criminal trial in court, they aim to prove that the accused is guilty of the charged crime. They call witnesses to the stand to testify against the accused and presents evidence to the judge and jury. The lawyer must by law present all evidence found during the pre-trial investigation, even if it is not favorable to the case. He or she can offer a plea bargain or deal to the defendant pre-trial. This means that the accused agrees to plead guilty to lesser charges, in exchange for less prison time or something of that nature in return from the prosecution.

Defense Lawyer

A defense lawyer will be hired once the accused is arrested or charged with a crime. A criminal attorney can either by hired by the defendant himself or herself, or can be appointed by the state. The role of a this person during a criminal trial is to defend the accused as best as they can. They aim to prove their clients innocence. They also want to ensure the best outcome for their client. This can sometimes mean that a lesser sentence is the goal, over a large or life sentence in large criminal trials. He or she will assist their client pre-trial, during trial and post trial. Unlike the prosecution a defense lawyer does not by law have to present all evidence uncovered during the pre-trial investigation.