Why Everyone (Including Parents) Should Take 3 minutes to Understand Bail

Updated: Oct 31, 2018


Mistaken identity, "Wrong place, wrong time"- it happens. But you can prepare yourself .

Many people think that only "criminals" need to understand bail bonds or understand the critical role a bail bondsman would play at a time when you need an experienced advocate the most. This couldn't be further from the truth! In this post, I'll explain the real reasons why everyone should understand bail and how it works.


“Everyone” includes parents, grandparents, minors, teenagers, college students, spouses, citizens and non-citizens; literally everyone!

The fact of the matter is people are wrongly accused of crimes every day. It can happen through:

  • A simple case of mistaken identity

  • "Wrong place, wrong time" - especially for teenagers and other minors!

  • Someone actually pressing false charges against you/your family member

Now, regardless of whether these allegations are true, and regardless of whether they are dropped at a later date, you (or your child/spouse/family member) will be arrested and you (or them) will go to jail. And then? You will most likely need a bondsman (unless you have thousands of dollars of cash on hand and quickly accessible)!


There are also cases aplenty of angry neighbors, ex's, in-laws, and former business partners who press charges on someone in the heat of the moment or after a dispute reaches its tipping point. Many times these charges are later dropped. But someone still went to jail!


Another consideration for everyone should be instances involving family members (domestic cases).


In domestic cases, the police officers' hands are tied even if the other party doesn't wish to press charges. If a neighbor or another bystander calls the police, the police often have to carry out the arrest regardless of the family's wishes. At a later date everything is sorted out in court. In the meantime, that means getting booked in the local jail.


If you're a parent, you should probably be at the top of the list of people that should prepare, especially for the worst-case scenario of your child being arrested. Remember, "wrong place, wrong time" is all it takes for an arrest.


The threshold for probable cause is very low, and if there's any ambiguity an officer may arrest everyone in a vehicle/house/dorm and let the judge decide who should bear the guilt at a later date. To be found guilty, the prosecutor must provide "proof beyond a reasonable doubt," but to be arrested and taken to jail, the police only need "probable cause."


Simply being a passenger in a car that contains something illegal, even if it isn't theirs, is enough for an arrest.


I get calls regularly from frantic mothers who say “I’ve NEVER done this before! Please tell me what I need to do!!” I try to calm them down and assure them that I can guide them through every step of the process and in many cases get their child out of jail in under an hour. However, if they do not have the necessary information ready, it slows down the entire bail process.

In my next post, I'll list the 5 Pieces of Information that you should already know before you call a bondsman (in order to make the bail process go as fast and smoothly as possible). For now, check out the FAQ (frequently asked questions) page on the Apex Bail Bonds website to learn some of the "bail basics," then please like and subscribe to the Apex Bail Bonds Facebook page so you can be sure to read the next blog post!


-Fred

Owner/Agent of Apex Bail Bonds in Danville, Virginia.

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Tip: Program a bondsman's phone number into your phone. You may never need it yourself, but it will allow you to be the most supportive friend or family member you can be if someone calls you in a time of need. Every parent should do this as well. Why not be prepared when it takes so little effort!


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