Freedom From Jail: Know Your Options

It's almost impossible to deal with a criminal matter from behind bars but that's probably not the first consideration for those who find themselves in jail. Jails, no matter where they are, are usually loud, uncomfortable, overcrowded, and sometimes dangerous environments. There are many reasons why jail is bad and there are almost as many ways to get out of jail (legally speaking, of course). It's important to understand the various options and what they mean. Read on to find out more.

The Own Recognizance Option

This option uses the nature of your charges and your reputation to achieve freedom. If you are released on your own recognizance, that means you don't have to worry about paying bail. You do, however, still have rules to follow while awaiting your court case and they are usually the same rules those out on bail have to abide. Bail conditions always include appearing for future court dates and not being arrested. Some locations offer what are known as signature bonds. They are usually the same thing as own recognizance. In some cases, those who fail to follow the rules of a signature bond or own recognizance release have to pay the bail that would have been charged. As long as you abide by the rules and show up for your court dates, the bond is canceled at the end of your case and you won't owe any money.

The Bail Payment Option

If you are offered the opportunity to get out of jail by paying bail, it's both good news and bad news. Not everyone is offered bail, so that's the good news. Those accused of certain serious crimes and those with extensive arrest records or a history of skipping out on bail may find themselves having to remain behind bars until sentencing. The bad news is that the required bail payment can be many thousands of dollars and it can be difficult to impossible to pay.

The Bail Bond Option

It's safe to say that nearly everyone who is offered bail uses this option due to its affordability. Bail bonds cost only a fraction of the bail required by the court. Third-party bail bonding agencies located around correctional and court facilities deal directly with judicial personnel to secure a release based on a guarantee that the full bail will be paid if conditions are not met. Bail bonds are easy to acquire and you can find out how much is needed by phoning an agency nearby and speaking with a helpful agent.