Being accused of a crime or arrested is not a pleasant experience. It comes with a lot of stress, both financially and psychologically. Thankfully, there is still the option of bail. By paying this bail, a suspect can get released from jail to prepare for their case. However, most times, the bail fee is usually high and unaffordable to many people.
If you’re unable to pay your bail bond, you will either remain in jail until the date of your court hearing or get a bail bond company like Connecticut Bail Bonds Group to pay it for you for a non-refundable fee. If, upon release, you fail to appear for your bail hearing; then you may end up back in jail.
Keep reading to discover the consequences of not paying your bail bond fee.
The Bail Bond Process
If you’re unable to pay your bail amount, finding a bail bond agent is the next affordable option for you. Not only do they help you pay the bail bond, but they also help you simplify the process through their many years of experience and expertise.
The bail bond process starts with you signing a contract that states your agreement to pay a certain percentage of the bond to the agent. If all goes according to plan, the agent will pay the court-stipulated amount, and you will be released. Usually, after the court process is complete, they will get back their money. However, the bond fee you paid is non-refundable.
While this may seem simple enough, some people complicate the situation by signing off an unfavorable contract. This may lead to legal, financial, and civil consequences, as discussed below:
While failing to pay a bond fee does not mean you’ve violated the law, it can take you to prison. The bail bond agent has the right to abandon their responsibility of paying your bail if you don’t pay the agreed fee. Since you have to pay your bail to get out of jail, the inability to pay simply means you’ll go back to jail, even if you’ve been released before paying your bond fee.
This may cause you more than the initial trouble as it will be more difficult to find another bail bond agent to help you.
There is always an agreement between you and the bond agent that states that you’re responsible for the payment of the bail bond and the agent’s fee, irrespective of what happens in court. If you sign this contract, then you’re obliged to pay what you owe.
Sometimes, defendants choose not to pay the bond fee they’ve agreed to, especially if they feel their crime is not enough to fetch serious sentencing. However, the bond agent has the right to charge you to a civil court. While not paying your bond fee is not a criminal offense, it is a civil offense, and the bond agent has the upper hand since you signed an agreement. Although you may eventually win the case, the chances are low, and you’ll most likely be mandated to pay the agreed fee, even if it means garnishing your wages.
What Can You Do If the Bond Company No Longer Covers You?
As earlier stated, bond companies have the right to revoke their responsibility to cover you. When this happens, you have the following two options:
- You can ask your close friends or family members to find another bail bond company for you.
- You can ask your lawyer to ask for a lower bail bond or request for your release on recognizance.
However, while either of the options can keep you out of jail, you will still have to pay the original premium, irrespective of the option you choose.
How to Ensure You Can Pay Your Bond Premium
The inability to pay your bond premium can take you back to jail. Therefore, to avoid this, it is essential to do the following:
- Ensure you read and understand the contract before you sign it. Many people, in a bid to help their loved ones sign contracts that they can’t pay for. However, rather than helping, this puts their loved ones in more difficult situations.
- Speak with your lawyer before you sign any contract. Your lawyer has a better understanding and can guide you in making the right choice.
In summary, before you sign a contract with any bail bond company, take your time to understand their terms during the consultation stage and ensure you can afford their premium.