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Bail or Bond? A Tampa, FL Criminal Lawyer's Guide
January 10, 2024

If you or someone you know has recently been arrested, it is essential to understand the legal processes that follow. One of the key aspects of this process is bail or bond. In this helpful guide from our Tampa, FL criminal lawyers, we will explain what you can expect during your arrest and processing, outline the differences between bail and bond, and help you understand which option may best suit your situation.

The Arrest and Processing.

When a person is arrested, they are taken into custody by law enforcement. Once in custody, the arrestee is typically transported to a police station or jail for processing. During this process, personal information such as name, address, and date of birth will be recorded. Additionally, the person's fingerprints and photographs may be taken.

After processing, the arrestee will be put into a holding cell awaiting their initial court appearance. This can take several hours or even days, depending on the local legal system's workload. Our Tampa, FL criminal lawyers suggest remaining calm and cooperative during this time, as any aggressive behavior or attempts to flee can result in further charges and may complicate the situation.

Understanding Bail.

Bail is a financial arrangement that allows an arrested individual to be released from custody pending their court appearance. It serves as a form of insurance, ensuring that the person shows up for their trial. If the accused fails to appear, the bail amount will be forfeited, and a warrant for their arrest will be issued.

The bail amount is set by a judge based on various factors, including the severity of the alleged crime, the defendant's criminal history, and the likelihood of flight risk. In some cases, the court may deny bail altogether.

To secure release through bail, the arrestee, or a family member or friend acting on their behalf must pay the full bail amount to the court in cash. However, not everyone has access to such significant sums of money, which is where bond comes into play.

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Understanding Bond.

According to our Tampa, FL criminal lawyers, bond is an alternative to bail that allows the arrested individual's release while only paying a percentage of the total bail amount. Rather than paying the full amount in cash, a bondsman, also known as a bail bonds agent, provides a guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear for their trial.

To obtain a bond, the individual or their loved ones pay a non-refundable fee to the bondsman, typically around 10% of the bail amount. The bondsman then posts the full bail amount with the court, assuming the risk if the accused fails to appear. It's important to note that the fee paid to the bondsman is non-refundable, regardless of the outcome of the trial. However, it allows for more affordable release from custody.

Choosing the Right Option.

Whether to opt for bail or bond ultimately depends on your financial situation and the seriousness of the charges against you. If you have access to the full bail amount and can comfortably pay it, bail may be the better option. By paying the full amount, you can avoid the non-refundable fees associated with bond services.

However, if paying the full bail amount is burdensome and you cannot afford it, using a bond service can provide a more accessible path to release from custody. Though the fee paid to the bondsman is non-refundable, it can help bridge the financial gap and allow you to await trial in a less confined setting.

Get Legal Advice from Our Tampa, FL Criminal Lawyers.

If you or a loved one if facing legal troubles, our team of criminal lawyers in Tampa, FL can provide you with the representation you need. If you have any questions about how to navigate this complex process, you can trust our team’s expertise. Learn more about our firm online, or contact us to get started today.

Bail or Bond? A Tampa, FL Criminal Lawyer's Guide
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