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Bail or Jail?

When a person is arrested for a felony, they are almost always given a bail that they have to post in order to get out of jail. A bail is money (sometimes property) that is used to assure the person’s presence at court. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the amount of the bail. If they are given a 10% option with the court, they only need to post 10% with the court and same is refundable. However, most bails are not set up like this and in order to get out on 10%, you have to post the bail with a bail bondsman. This money is never returned.

 

With a defendant or a family operating on a limited budget, there may not be enough money to fund a full blown trial and pay a bail bondsman. Thus, they have to make a choice. Get out on bail or stay in jail. Unfortunately, human beings are focused on immediate gratification. Instead of looking at the big picture, they just want to get out of jail right away. As a result, they can’t afford a good lawyer and then wind up having to go to prison in the end. If you asked most people sitting in prison what is better: a long prison sentence or a short stay in jail, I’m sure they will all choose the latter.

 

Thus, when forced with a choice of bail or jail, the smart choice is by far, always jail.

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