Nobody could ever be prepared to receive a call telling that a family member or a loved one is in jail. Worse, you need a significant amount of money is needed for him to get out of jail temporarily while waiting for trial and final conviction. It does not get better when you realize that the bail amount doesn't fit the crime. Here's what to do when you get caught up in a situation like this:
You should know that the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits excessive bail, fines, and punishment. While standard bail differs from a local jurisdiction to another, most standard bail amounts range from $1,000 for most demeanors to as high as $20,000 for felonies. For crimes committed as a second offense or higher, enhanced bails are implemented. Criminal cases such as murder, kidnapping, and sexual assault do not have standard bail and are assessed on a case by case basis. You should know the costs of standard and enhanced bails in your local jurisdictions to assess whether or not the bail amount fit the crime.
Criminal Defense Attorney
After knowing the standard costs of bail and you still believe that the amount doesn't fit the crime, you can ask help to your criminal defense attorney. He or she can negotiate to the judge assigned to a case about the cost of bail. In the case of misdemeanor offenses, your lawyer must assure the judge that your flight risk is very low. However, you should also understand that your lawyer cannot negotiate for bail cost if the crime committed is considered as a felony or if you are faced with enhanced bail for committing this crime multiple times.
If you are unable to gather the amount of money needed for the bail, you can seek the services of a bail bondsman. Also called a bondperson or bail agent, the bail bondsman provides the court with a surety bond. You will have to pay the bail bondsman with 10% of the bail amount, other expenses, and transaction, and other trial-related costs later on. If the bail amount doesn't fit the crime committed, you can negotiate with the bail bondsman to lessen the fees for additional costs. Assure the bail agent that you will surely attend the court hearing. Providing collateral such as an important jewelry and any trinket that is of sentimental (and economic) value can help in negotiating with them.
In sum, when the bail amount does not fit the crime committed, you should know your rights for reasonable bail and use this knowledge to negotiate. You can ask your lawyer to negotiate with the judge for a lower bail. You can also negotiate with a bail bondsman to reduce additional fees that are added to the actual surety bond by assuring that you will attend the trial and providing collateral for the loan. For more information, contact companies like A Bail Now Bail Bonds, Inc.