Getting arrested can be a life-changing experience and getting through the bail bonds process is only a start—once you get released, there are many responsibilities you will have to deal with your legal issues and recapture control of your life.
Along the way, there are many processes and some bureaucracy you’ll have to get through in order to get back on your feet. Many of these processes, however, are actually in place to protect your inalienable rights as an American citizen.
Here is a list of a few of your inherent rights that can help you deal with the overall process.
The Right to Fair Bail
The very purpose of bail bonds in America is to allow the release of prisoners who may not be guilty. Trials are lengthy and can take months to actually occur in a court of law. In order to prevent the loss of employment or neglect of family responsibilities, bail exists to allow all arrested citizens to tend to their personal business and adequately prepare for their trial. Plus, this prevents the overcrowding of county jails.
A bail bonds company will alleviate this process by covering your entire bail amount. Ensure your financial responsibilities are minimized by appearing to all court dates after you have paid your bail bondsman their 10% fee.
The Right To Know Your Charges
It’s against the law for authorities to hold American citizens without a legitimate legal reason. This is simply a basic constitutional right guaranteed to all citizens. You should have what you are charged with in writing, together with your documentation related to assigned court dates or appearances before a judge.
The Right To an Attorney
We all know the “you have the right to remain silent…” line made famous by TV cop dramas, but a key phrase in that spiel includes the right to an attorney. While you may benefit more from hiring an attorney, not everyone has the means to do so. If you’ve spent most or all of your available funds on your bail bonds company, you can get an attorney appointed to you for free in the form of a public defender.
The Right to Due Process
Be sure you are presented with all proper documentation related to your charges and that you have all your scheduled court appearances in writing. As long as you attend your court dates, you will be given a fair trial and due process of law. If you skip multiple court dates, you will not be refunded your bail cost, you will be seen as a fugitive, and the bail bondsman may send a bail enforcement agent out to track you down and return you to custody. This is why it is crucial to attend all court dates.