Posting Bail: What Do You Do When a Loved One Lands in Jail?
A celebration can go bad when someone is intoxicated and goes behind the wheel. It can go bad because someone is arrested for DWI, or driving while impaired. It is especially bad when that someone is a spouse, family member or a dear friend. While you might not have control over the imminent arrest, you do have some hand in what happens afterward.
An Important Call
If the relative or friend has no other person to turn to, you could get that troubling call in the middle of the night. Your loved one is processed and a hearing is set, then he or she will need bail after the hearing. The bail amount depends on a number of factors, such as severity of the offense, past criminal record and ties to the community. For example, a district judge set a University of North Carolina Chapel Hill student’s bail bond at $1 million for a DWI. The student caused a wreck that killed three people.
In general, bail bonds for least serious DWI cases do not cost as much. In fact, you can even find a bail bond service offering easy payment plans. Payment plans reduce the stress of a loved one’s arrest. For starters, you can provide a down payment as low as 3% on bonds over $10,000.
You can get on the phone to the bail bonds services — any time of the night. Due to the nature of their business, these companies offer 24-hour, daily services so you can always get in touch with someone.
You can pay for a loved one’s bail in cash, secured bail bonds or unsecured bail bonds. Some judges release defendants on their own recognizance, and no bail amount is set. If you are able to pay 15% of the bail amount up front to the bail bonds services, that service will then pay the court the full amount of the bail.
It is important your loved one appears in court for the scheduled hearing and not skip bail. If the person skips bail, expect the court to issue a warrant of arrest, which will create a whole slew of other problems. Instead of a minor DWI, your loved one could face more serious charges if he or she skips out on bail.
North Carolina takes DWI cases seriously, giving the appropriate penalties and punishment according the level of offense. But whether your loved one simply receives the level five or level one sentencing and fine, a DWI arrest is always stressful for both you and the defendant. In addition to the threat of jail time, the financial costs also add to the burden of the situation. Fortunately, you can manage the financial blow with support from the right bail bonds services.