What Bail Options Are Available In States That Don'T Allow Private Bail Bonds?

Posted on: 2 November 2017

When a person is arrested for a crime, one of the easiest ways to get the individual out of jail is to use a bail bondsman. For a small fee (typically 10 percent of the ordered bail amount), the company will guarantee the bail and secure the person's release. Unfortunately, a small handful of states (e.g. Maine, Illinois) don't allow private bail companies to operate within their borders. If you (or someone you're helping) are being held in one of these states, here are your options for bailing out jail.

Obtain a Signature Bail Bond

Although a state may not allow private bail bonds, some do let people submit signature bail bonds. These bonds are similar to signature loans in that they don't require any collateral to guarantee, including money. The person signing the bond essentially states he or she will be responsible for paying the bond amount if the defendant doesn't show up in court as required.

As you can imagine, this type of bond requires quite a bit of trust from the court. Because of this, not everyone will be eligible for this type of bond. Generally, people charged with lesser crimes (e.g. misdemeanors), have strong ties with the community, and don't represent a flight risk will be approved for this type bond. Additionally, the person signing the bond contract may be required to prove he or she can pay the amount owed if the defendant doesn't show up for court.

Be aware, states that accept signature bail bonds may require more than one person to sign the contract to increase its chances of collecting payment for the bond, and all the signees will be fully responsible for paying it if the defendant doesn't appear as required.

Use Cash or Collateral

The other option for bonding out of jail is to pay cash or use collateral. If you don't have the cash on hand, you can take out a loan from the bank or use a crowdfunding donation site—such as GoFundMe or YouCaring—to gather the funds together.

Alternatively, you can put up collateral to guarantee the bond, such as a house, vehicle, or even valuable jewelry. As long as the equity or value of the collateral will cover the bond and fees, the court will typically accept it. Be aware, though, that if the defendant doesn't show up for trial, the court will confiscate the collateral and sell it to pay the bond.

For more information about bail bond alternatives or assistance with getting someone out of jail, contact a bond company, such as Absolute Bail Bonds, in your area.