If you have just been arrested and processed because you were accused of a crime, the first thing you are probably thinking about is how to get out of jail while you await your day in court. To get out of jail, you generally have to pay bail. It is essential to understand how the bail process works.

1. Bail Is Often Set by a Schedule

Sometimes you have to wait to appear in court for the judge to determine what your bail should be. However, in many jurisdictions, there is a bail schedule for ordinary offenses. With a bail schedule, you have to pay a pre-determined amount of bail based on the crime you allegedly committed, which allows you to know your bail amount and pay your bail before your first court appearance.

2. Use Your Phone Call Privileges 

Second, you will want to use your phone call privileges to get in contact with a bail bond agency. You can call a family member or friend and ask them to call a bail bond agency on your behalf, or you can directly call a bail bond agency.

If you contact a bail bond agency on your own, you will want to ask them questions about how the bail bond process works. Ask what their fee is, how quickly you can process the paperwork with them and get them to pay your bail, and what your ongoing relationship will look like as your case goes through the courts.

3. Think About Collateral

Third, when you work with a bail agency, in addition to paying their fee, they are going to want you to put up collateral for the full bail amount. Collateral can be secured in a variety of ways beyond direct payment. You can use physical items, such as jewelry, electronics, or property, as collateral. You need to make sure you own the item or have permission from the owner to use that item as collateral.

4. Have a Little Patience

Even if you can set-up an arrangement with a bail bond agency right away, and they can get down to the jail and pay your bail quickly, you may still need to be patient. It can take a little while for your actual release to happen, as the holding facility has to put you through processing and release you. How quickly that happens can depend on the number of staff members working and how many release requests they have to work through.

If you are arrested, get in touch with a bail bond agency like Affordable Bail Bonds and learn more about how to handle your situation.