When your friend or loved one ends up in jail, the first thing on your mind is likely getting them out as quickly as possible. However, if you’ve never had to post bail for someone or worked with an agent before, the process might seem like a bit of a mystery. There’s more to bailing a defendant out than simply paying the court money. Here’s what you need to know about posting bail in Missouri.
What You Should Know Before Posting Bail
1. You Don’t Need to Have the Money Upfront
In some instances, a defendant might be released without paying a set amount of bail money. This is usually because the offense is minor and they have little to no existing criminal record. However, if bail is set, the amount can often be too high for one person to reasonably cover on the spot. Luckily, a bail bond agency give you the option to pay a portion of the amount as a down payment or deposit while they help guarantee the rest of the funds.
2. Bail Amounts Differ
While Missouri does utilize a schedule to determine bail for minor crimes, judges are often called in to assess a fair amount for more severe accusations. During this time, the judge sets a hearing and makes their decision based on the severity of the charges, as well as the defendant’s past criminal history. Those with only minor offenses on their record will often be assessed a smaller bail amount, while others with an extensive history might have to pay more to get out of jail.
3. Court Appearances Are Still Mandatory
Missouri, like every other state, requires defendants to attend all relevant hearings, whether they pay bail or not. If the defendant misses a hearing, the amount of bail paid is forfeited to the court. This means co-signers will have to work out a payment schedule with the agent and might lose any collateral they put up to secure the bond in the first place. However, if all hearings are attended on time, the funds paid to the court, as well as collateral posted for the bond, are returned to the correct parties.
Posting bail can seem stressful, but, with help from an experienced agent, it doesn’t have to be. For nearly 40 years, Richard Cloud Bail Bonding in Columbia, MO, has worked to get Boone County residents out of jail quickly. Learn more about their services by visiting their website, and call (573) 442-0078 to speak with an agent today.