There’s no doubt that the American justice system has a lot of things wrong with it. However, if you’re in trouble with the police, you’re not in a position to either fight or fix the system. Here is some life-changing information to help you use the system to your best advantage.

So You’ve Been Arrested…

At this point, never mind whether you should have been arrested or not. Life is complicated. Just remember not to resist, act sarcastic, or make threats: you won’t help yourself by making new enemies.

The police will take you to the local station and you’ll booked for a crime and be processed in. Now a “defendant,” you’ll be escorted to a holding cell before your arraignment, at which time the judge decides on the bond amount to be paid before you can be released. The amount depends on the charge, past criminal history, and other factors related to the likelihood that you’ll return for or flee from future court dates.


Bond vs. Bail and How the System Works

The “bond” is the promise or the agreement to pay a specified amount of money in return for showing up to court and fulfilling any pretrial conditions that the judge sets. Such conditions might include travel restrictions, curfews, drug testing, or electronic monitoring. The “bail” is the money itself.

It doesn’t matter who pays the bail. If you or a friend or family member can’t pay it, then you must remain in jail until your court date.

Bail paid in full up front is not refundable, nor does it include the court fees, fines, and penalties that a defendant becomes responsible for. If you don’t show up for your court date, you’re subject to arrest and further charges. The alternative of paying out of pocket is hiring a bail bondsman.

A bail bond is a surety bond, meaning that a qualified agent serves as a third party vouching for you and your promise to appear in court as specified. The bondsman usually charges you a nonrefundable fee of 10-15% of the bail amount, obviously significantly less than the 100% you would otherwise pay. Since the bondsman then becomes the responsible party to the court, you become accountable to your bondsman.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

It isn’t true that you have the right to one phone call after being arrested – that’s a Hollywood myth. Your privilege to make calls usually depends on the discretion of the arresting officer, your own behavior, and the speed of being processed at the jail.

Your immediate reflex is often to contact someone close to you to let them know what’s going on. Just in case you’re in Kalispell, Montana, the next thing that is best to do is to call Bail Bonds Kalispell MT.

Six Reasons Why A Bail Bondsman Is Your Best Bet

  • You can do more for your case outside of jail than inside, and you DON’T want to get transferred from your local jail to the county jail, so getting released quickly is a priority. Although hiring legal help is a necessary gamble in winning your case, your bail bondsman can nearly always get you released pretty quickly. Your attorney doesn’t caught by surprise, so he or she has more time to prepare for your case.
  • You don’t have to plea bargain just for the chance to go home. There’s no lure to change what you intend to plea because you’ll already be home.
  • Many bondsmen are available for business 24/7 to meet your needs. Part of their service is getting started right away, and they can help with details an attorney may not have time for.
  • Paying a bail bondsman a fraction of the bail amount is less expensive than paying it all yourself. You usually have a flexible choice of payment options, and even if you put anything up for collateral, it’s at less risk to be lost.
  • Bail agents belonging to legitimate certifying organizations are trained legal professionals, meaning that they’re specialists in your state’s laws. They also have the know-how to hook you up with a public defender. When you pay the entire bail yourself, the court may decide that you can afford legal support and deny you access to a public defender.
  • Because they’re putting themselves at financial risk with the bond, bondsmen have a personally vested interest in keeping you advised of your rights and responsibilities following your release. They’re willing to work with you, unlike some courts that declare forfeiture for showing up even a few minutes late. Skilled bondsmen can sometimes arrange for you to be released on your own recognizance, meaning that bail is suspended.

Getting A Good Bail Bondsman

You’ll want to check out your state’s bondsman association or the Professional Bail Agents of the United States. Online searches will supply many names but you’ll add to your legal troubles if you don’t hire someone reputable. If you’re in Alabama, visit for details.

A Final Word

It’s vital that you call a bail bondsman quickly, within the first few hours of arrest, to avoid being transferred to a county jail. Do your research in advance, before a crisis arises. If not for yourself, having the information on hand might help a friend or family member. Good luck!