If a loved one has just been arrested and called you from jail, what should you do? Chances are, they are panicked, upset, crying and begging you to “get me out of here”. Their only thought is “I want out now”
When a person is arrested, the following day, they are taken before a judge for “First Appearance”, if they have not already bonded out. If it is a minor charge, a DUI, or a misdemeanor, chances are, you can get them out by either posting cash, or hiring a bondsman. If it is a serious felony such as a sex crime, trafficking in drugs, aggravated assault or sometimes a domestic battery, your first call should be to a criminal defense lawyer.
A bondsman charges a fee called a “premium” to post a bail bond. By law, in Florida that fee is set at 10% of the bond. That means that if the bond is set high, for example at $100,000, it will cost you ten thousand dollars in a “fee” to the bondsman to get them out. Many times, a good lawyer can get that bond reduced to a reasonable lower bond and save you a ton of money. You may be able to save enough to pay for the lawyer. Using a bondsman is often a very wise and good decision, and I highly recommend doing so. Before you do that though, talk to a lawyer because the amount of the bond might get reduced. You need a lawyer at your loved one’s first appearance. It can make a huge difference in the amount of the bond the judge sets. It may save you an enormous amount of money. If your spouse or relative calls from jail, your next call should be to a criminal defense lawyer. Most defense lawyers are reachable 24/7, and an initial consultation is generally free. As a Lee County criminal defense attorney, I want to see them out of jail also, but talking to a lawyer immediately can save you a bundle.