How to keep an arrest from breaking the bank

While all aspects of an arrest are unpleasant, perhaps one the most unpleasant and sometimes surprising ones is the actual cost of being arrested. From bonds to lawyers and the pile-up of fees and fines, here are a few ways to try and keep those costs to the absolute minimum.

Try for a public defender

One of the largest costs of an arrest will usually be a lawyer and for many, a private lawyer is just not an option especially when most charges hundreds of dollars an hour. If you do not have the resources to hire a lawyer, then it may be worth it to try and apply for a public defender. It may seem surprising that you need to apply for one but despite what movies and tv shows portray, it is not as easy as it seems to be a assigned a public defender. When you fill out an application, it will ask about the charges as well as information regarding your finances. If you are below a certain income level they may either assign you a public defender at no cost or at a subsidized rate.

Hire a bail bondsman

Even the most minor charges can result a bond set for thousands of dollars and unless you or a loved one have that type of money on hand, then you will need to use the services of a bail bondsman. While a bail bondsman may cost a bit more in the long run, they offer people who can’t afford to pay an entire bond upfront the chance to be released at only a tenth of the cost. By needing only a fraction up front, it allows people to get released that wither don’t have a significant amount of cash or even if they do, won’t need to drain out their savings account even temporarily and have to wait months for the case to conclude to be refunded.

Follow bail conditions and show up to court hearings

The last thing that can really help in making sure that arrest related costs don’t inflate is to just make sure you are in compliance with all bail conditions and avoid any actions that can cause another arrest while awaiting your court hearing. Additional charges lead to additional fines and it is vital to show up to all court hearings because missing a court hearing without rescheduling will lead to the bond being forfeited which would be the loss of a huge chunk of cash.

In the end, there unfortunately is no way to avoid having to pay anything but following these basic actions will ensure that there won’t be spontaneous ad ons that will inflate what already has to be paid.

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