My Spouse Has Been Arrested. What Do I Do?

If your spouse has been arrested, try to remain calm.  By keeping a cool head, you will help your spouse to remain calm and both of you will be able to make the right decisions.  And there are a lot of decisions to be made.  

First, get all of the information you can like the name of the jail your spouse was booked at, the booking number, and the arrest charges.  If you are able to speak on the phone with your spouse, remember that the call is most likely being monitored. Don’t say anything that could be incriminating or could be misconstrued.  

Second, get your financial information together.  Do you have enough money to pay for cash bail? Even if you do have enough you may want to consider getting a bond instead.  Here’s why:

  • It could affect your spouse’s ability to get a public defender.
  • After the outcome of the trial, court fees and fines may be deducted from your bail before it is returned to you.
  • If you have all your money tied up in bail you may not be able to afford a private lawyer.   

If you don’t have money, do you have something to offer as collateral?  Collateral is something of value like vehicles, real estate, jewelry, etc.  Putting up collateral for anyone is risky and should be considered carefully.  If the defendant flees, your collateral will be sold to pay the bail. Even your spouse could panic and flee and you could possibly lose your house.  

When you’ve got all of your pertinent information together, call a licensed bail bond agent.  The bond agent will explain the process to you, charge you a non-refundable premium of 10% of the bail amount, and get your spouse out of jail, usually within a few hours.

While the bond agent does his/her thing, call a lawyer if you don’t already have one.  Ask the people you know for a recommendation for a criminal defense attorney. If they don’t have one, try the internet, but be sure to vet them at the Better Business Bureau website and with your state’s Bar Association.  

Once you find a lawyer, call to see if they are taking on new clients, and if they are, give them the information on your spouse’s arrest and where he or she is being held.  If your spouse has qualified for a public defender, that attorney will get in touch with your spouse directly.

If your spouse isn’t allowed bail or is in jail for more than a day, make sure you visit often.  Having contact with loved ones through visitation, email, or letters will help your spouse through this difficult and stressful situation.  

Make sure that you stay on top of any court dates that your spouse has.  If you are the indemnitor, meaning you arranged for the bond, you are responsible for your spouse and must ensure that he or she makes all scheduled court appearances.1st Knight Bail Bonds can help if your spouse has been arrested and is in jail.  We’re available 24/7 to answer your call and to begin the bail bond process as soon as possible.  Call 1st Knight Bail Bonds today at (727) 538-7727 and we’ll get your loved one back home before you know it.

Everything You Need to Know About Bail Bonds

Bail is one of those things you hope you’ll never need but it’s a good thing to familiarize with just in case you ever do.  When you or a loved one has been arrested, it’s very stressful and decisions need to be made quickly in order to get out of jail.  

Bail

When a person is arrested, he or she will be brought in front of a judge for a bail hearing to determine whether or not bail will be offered.  Bail is a monetary amount paid to the court in order to be released from jail until trial. After the defendant has made all scheduled court appearances, no matter the outcome―innocent, guilty, or charges dropped―the money will be returned to the defendant or whoever posted the bail money.  Bail is an incentive for the defendant to show up for court or else the bail money is forfeited to the court.  

How Bail Is Determined

The judge will take many factors into consideration when determining bail such as the nature and severity of the crime, the criminal history of the defendant, and whether the release of the defendant would pose a danger to society or himself/herself.  They’ll also look at things that reveal whether or not the defendant would be a flight risk such as family in the area and ties to the community and if the defendant has a history of skipping out on bail.  

In many jurisdictions, judges will refer to a bail schedule which is a guideline for setting bail for various crimes.  There is no standard for bail schedule so they can vary between different jurisdictions.

Once the judge has taken everything into consideration, they will set the amount of bail that would need to be paid to be released until trial.  However, if the defendant was deemed a flight risk or the crime was particularly severe or violent, bail may be denied.  

Bail Bonds

For most people, bail is simply too expensive which is why the bond system was developed.  If the bail is too expensive, the defendant can use the services of a bail bond agent who will charge a 10% non-refundable premium and cover the rest of the bail.  Depending on the individual situation, something of value as collateral may be required which could be sold to pay the bail in the event that the defendant didn’t show up for court.  However, a simple contract with the bail bond company may suffice.  

Bail bonds are a way to allow more people to remain out of jail while they await trial to alleviate overcrowded jails, to save taxpayers the cost of housing people who haven’t been convicted yet, and to allow people who’ve been arrested to remain at home, going to their job and being a productive member of society.  

1st Knight Bail Bonds is a full-service bonding company serving Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties.  We work hard for each and every client to get them out of jail as quickly and discreetly as possible.  If you or a loved one is in jail and you don’t know what to do, call 1st Knight at  (727) 538-7727 and we’ll guide you through the process.  We’re here to help.

What’s the Difference Between Bail, Parole, and Probation?

Unless you’ve gone to jail, work in the legal profession, or are a big fan of Law and Order, bail, parole, and probation can be hard to keep straight.  They’re all ways that you can be released from jail providing that you follow the rules. They’re all incentive programs, of sorts, with the same goal―getting specific behaviors from someone who is accused of or who was found guilty of committing a crime.

Bail

Bail comes first.  If a person is arrested and booked for a crime, there will be a hearing to determine bail, or how much money the defendant can pay to the court in order to get out of jail while awaiting trial.  At the hearing, the judge will consider various factors when setting the bail amount such as the nature of the crime and the defendant’s criminal history and likelihood of fleeing the area. They will also consult with a bail schedule that has bail recommendations for crimes committed in the jurisdiction.  The judge will either release the defendant on his or her own recognizance or set an amount for bail.

If the defendant pays that bail amount to the court, he or she will be released from jail with the condition that they show up for their scheduled court appearances.  If the defendant doesn’t miss any and follows the conditions of the bail (drug or alcohol treatment, not associating with criminals, etc.) the amount paid for bail will be returned to the defendant after the trial has ended, regardless of its outcome.  The goal is to get the defendant to show up in court.

Parole

Parole comes after a defendant has been found guilty and is sentenced to prison.  Unless the crime committed was particularly severe, the defendant is given an incentive of time off at the end of the sentence if they have followed the rules in prison.  When sentencing obligations are met, the inmate can appear before the parole board who decides whether or not the inmate should be released early. The goal is to make inmates follow the rules while in prison so they can get out early.

Probation

Probation occurs either instead of jail time for lesser crimes or after the sentence has been served.  When the inmate is released, there is a probationary period during which time the defendant must follow the law under the supervision of a probation officer.  Failure to comply could result in jail time, fines, or community service. The goal is to keep the former inmates on the right path after they get out of prison.

Bail, parole, and probation all have similar requirements, all allowing a person being free to be in the community as long as certain rules are being followed.  

Bail is not cheap.  It’s purposefully set high so that the defendant will be motivated to appear at his scheduled hearings.  The good news is that bail bonds companies like 1st Knight Bail Bonds are here to help. For a non-refundable fee of 10% of the bail amount, 1st Knight can get you out of jail quickly so you can be back home with your loved ones.  Our expert bond agents are available 24/7 to take your call and get started. If you need a bond agent, call 1st Knight Bail Bonds today at (727) 538-7727. We always answer!

How Bail Bonds Work

When you’re arrested for a crime, it can be a frightening and confusing time and all you want to do is get out of jail and back to your home.  Depending on the nature of the crime, you’ll appear at a hearing where bail will be offered and you may feel some sticker shock when you hear the amount.  How are you ever going to come up with that much money?

Bail

Bail is the amount of money that you can pay the court to get out of jail while you await your trial.  To determine the amount to offer for bail, the court looks at things like the nature of the crime (Was it violent?), your criminal history (Is this your first crime or are you a habitual offender?), and likelihood you’ll flee (Do you have ties to the community?  Family nearby?  Have you jumped bail previously?).  Most courts also have bail schedules that they follow which is a guideline of what bail should be set at under certain circumstances in that jurisdiction.  

If you make all of your required court appearances, the full amount of the bail will be returned to you minus any court fees or fines that were imposed.  It’s meant to be high enough that you wouldn’t want to lose it and therefore, you’ll show up in court.

Bond

Because bail is usually set so high the average person who is arrested can’t afford it, the courts allow the defendant to take out a surety bond through a licensed bond agent.  A surety bond is an agreement between you, the bond company, and the court that you will show up for all scheduled court dates.

The bond agent will charge a fee of typically 10% of the amount of the bail.  For example, if your bail was $10,000, you’d pay a fee of $1,000. The fee is non-refundable, no matter the outcome of your trial because it’s how the bond company makes their money.  They put up the rest of the bail amount and may require collateral which is something of value such as real estate, vehicles, jewelry or even cash, or they may be able to come up with a payment plan or collateral with your relatives.  

What Happens if I Skip Town?

If you leave the jurisdiction, the bail company will find you or risk losing their money.  Many bail agents will actively look for defendants who have fled but others may hire bail recovery agents (formerly known as bounty hunters) to track them down and bring them in.  When they do, you will be sent to jail until your trial. Any collateral will likely be sold to pay for the bond.
At 1st Knight Bail Bonds, we understand how stressful and dangerous it can be to be in jail so we ensure the entire process happens quickly so you don’t have to spend any more time there than you have to.  Our expert staff can explain the entire process to you and guide you along the way and get you out of jail as soon as possible. If you or a loved one has been arrested, visit our website at 1stKnightBailBonds.com or call  (727) 538-7727 today.  We’re open 24/7 to help you.