So you got arrested for DUI, and since it is only your first offense, you feel somewhat confident and assured that the penalties will not be that strict. After all, there are more hardened criminals to go after, so why should they waste time and energy on your first DUI offense, right?
To Post Bail or Not?
When you are taken to jail for booking, you will be advised that you can post bail if you want to get out of prison as soon as possible. If you have the money to post bail, then go ahead. You are going to get it back after your trial. However, if you do not have the money to post bail, then hire a bail bond agent who can post bail on your behalf. They take 10% of the bail amount though as their fee, so that will be additional money out of your pockets. Once you post bail, you can get out of prison and prepare for your court appearance.
Depending upon your total bail amount, that 10% can be huge. If you decide to be a cheapskate and not post bail, that’s okay. Know though that you will have to spend some time in the holding cell before you appear for your court hearing.
Not Posting Bail?
Before you decide not to post bail, here are four things that you should know.
One, court dates are scheduled by the clerk’s office. Depending upon the number of arrests made the night you were arrested and depending upon the severity of your case, you could be out of the holding cell the morning after. You will only have to spend one night in jail, saving you money on bail costs. However, if you were arrested on a Friday night or on a weekend, you will have to spend more time in the holding cell until you get your schedule for your court date. Will you be able to tolerate being in prison that long?
Two, depending upon the holding cells in your area, you will either get to spend your time in a single-person cell or a multiple-person cell. Lucky you if they put you in a single-person cell. You will not have to worry about other inmates, some of whom can be downright rude, disruptive, and troublesome. However, if they put you in a multi-person cell and you know you are going to be in there for a while, will you risk your safety and wellbeing?
Three, most prisons do not offer the best amenities; some of them do not even give you basic items such as toilet paper and shampoo. If you decide not to post bail, knowing you will be there for a while, then be prepared for the lack of these items. Plus, holding cells are pretty cold, so ask your family members or friends to bring you extra sweaters or jackets to keep you warmer.
Four, you also have to consider the inmates. What if they are rowdy, scary, creepy troublemakers who love harassing people?
Holding cells are not fun, so before you decide not to post bail, think of these four things.
Jennifer Dallas is a freelance content provider for law-related blogs as well as parenting sites. If you find yourself in legal trouble, she recommends visiting www.bailbondsdirect.com/ for options.
Photo Credit: Aloriel