Why is it Wise to Hire a Bail Bondsman When Charged with DWI?
A DWI, also known as “driving while intoxicated” is a pretty serious crime. It can land you in prison for a certain amount of time, at least until you end up in front of a judge so that you can officially be informed of your crimes.
In most states, a DWI offense is considered a criminal case, not a civil one, so you’ll need to find someone who can bail you out of prison – unless you have the funds or collateral to do it yourself. There are several other reasons why you’ll need to hire a bail bondsman when you’ve been charged with a DWI. Let’s go over them here.
You Need to Know the Different Types of Bonds
Many people don’t realize that there are three different types of bonds that you can be released on. Do you know who does understand this well? The bail bondsman. While a bail bondsman isn’t a lawyer, they can help you go through the process while you wait for your court-appointed a lawyer to arrive. The more advice you receive, the better.
The first kind of bond is known as personal recognition. You really don’t need a bail bondsman for this, but it could be helpful to have one on hand, just in case. Personal recognition, also known as PR or a PR bond, is when the court recognizes you as someone who won’t jump bail.
The judge trusts you enough to show up for your court hearing on your case. You won’t have to pay anything and will be allowed to leave after signing some paperwork. This is rather rare, so don’t expect to receive a PR bond, but it’s good to know what one is.
The next type of bond is one where you’ll definitely need a bail bondsman unless you have a lot of cash floating around. You pay for your freedom to leave the courtroom. The money that you pay is what the court system will keep should you jump bail and not appear in court when you’re scheduled to. If you do that, a warrant is issued for your arrest and you’ll end up in worse trouble than you’re already in.
Finally, here’s what’s known as a surety bond. This is where a bail bondsman’s role is made clear. They pay the majority of the bond amount, using something that you own as collateral. All that you need to pay them is a certain percentage of your bond amount.
This is usually somewhere in the area of 10%. In the case of a DWI where your bail might be $10,000, you’ll pay the bondsman $1,000, sign a document stating that you have the collateral for the rest, and the judge lets you walk out of the courtroom after your trial date is set.
Should you jump bail, the court keeps your money and the bondsman will seize whatever property you used for collateral. However, if you appear in court, the surety bond is canceled and the bondsman keeps your money as their fee.
Other Fees Come into Play
Since a DWI is considered to be a serious offense in the eyes of the law, you’ll need to pay for more than just the bail amount. You might be required to get special license plates that restrict your driving times to back and forth to work during the day.
You might have to have a device installed in your vehicle that checks your breath before your car is allowed to start. There are numerous conditions imposed here, and they all cost money. If you don’t have the money, then you’ll have to borrow it from the bail bondsman as part of what’s called a “bond package.”
This will require you to pay the bondsman a certain amount of money every month to cover these additional expenses. Of course, they’ll loan you the costs up front so that you can get everything in motion and get back to your now-altered everyday life. However, without the bail bondsman, none of this would be possible and you’d be without a vehicle. That can lead to a number of problems, such as the loss of your job.
Bail Bondsmen Are Important
As you can see, you need to wise up and hire a bail bondsman when you get charged with a DWI. They can help you understand the terms and conditions of your release, provide a surety bond that will let you out of jail, and then loan the funds that you need to meet all of the conditions of your parole.
Although you’ll need a good lawyer as well, a bail bondsman can provide quite a bit of help and advice. After all, they know the court system inside and out, since their job depends on it.