Approximately three quarters of those currently in Texas jails have not been charged with a crime.
When a loved one is stuck in jail, every minute seems like an hour. If you or someone you know has been arrested, you may need to decide between hiring an attorney or using a bail bonds agent.
Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to weigh them carefully before making a decision. Let’s compare the pros and cons of hiring an attorney vs. using a bail bonds agent to help you make an informed decision.
Pros of Hiring an Attorney
Hiring a lawyer is often the best option if the case involves serious charges. An attorney can provide legal advice, represent you in court, and negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. That last one, especially, could make a huge difference in your case.
A lawyer can also help you navigate the complex legal system and ensure your rights are protected, two more qualities you may not want to do without.
✓ Legal Expertise
An attorney has in-depth knowledge of the law and can provide legal advice and representation in court. They’re experienced, and may have seen a case like yours several times before. That experience can help beyond just what they learned in law school, and that experience is part of what you’re paying for.
✓ Case Preparation
An attorney can help prepare your case by gathering evidence to exonerate you or build out a narrative, conducting legal research in precedents and statutes and creating a strong defense strategy. It’s important to follow your attorney’s suggestions for just this reason.
✓ Negotiation Skills
An attorney can negotiate with the prosecution to secure a plea bargain or reduced sentence. This is a big deal. A lot of cases are actually resolved informally by the officers of the court, such as lawyers, acting for both sides. Your attorney has a legal duty to get you the best deal or sentence possible.
✓ Legal Guidance
There are few things more confusing or seemingly created to frustrate you than the legal system. It’s hard to navigate, and even harder to understand sometimes. An attorney can provide guidance and support throughout the legal process and answer any questions you may have.
✓ Protection of Your Legal Rights
An attorney can ensure your legal rights are protected and that you are not wrongly convicted. Nobody wants to think about the cases that fall through the cracks, and some of those stories are never told. But a good attorney is able to safeguard your rights throughout the legal process.
Cons of Hiring an Attorney
Of course, if it were all upside you wouldn’t be reading this blog because your decision would be so easy. Here are some of the challenges around hiring a lawyer to represent yourself or a loved one.
✕ Expensive Cost of Attorney
Hiring an attorney can be prohibitively expensive, and those fees can vary wildly depending on the case and its complexity.
✕ Time Commitment Legal Process
Preparing a proper legal case can be time-consuming, and you may need to attend multiple court appearances.
✕ No Guarantee of Success
There is no guarantee a lawyer will win your case, even if they have expertise in the relevant area of law.
Pros of Working with a Bail Bonds Agent
The bail bonds services market grows about 0.8 percent a year, and is on track to make $1.9 billion dollars for 2023. It’s big business, for good reason. If you or your loved one can’t pay bail outright, using a bail bonds agent is the best option. They can post bail on your behalf in exchange for a fee (typically 10 percent of the total bail amount). This can be a more affordable option than hiring an attorney, but offers different services and there are limitations on how much they can do to help.
✓ Speedy Release out of Jail
A bail bond agent posts bail on your behalf, which can result in your speedy release from jail. This is a major reason for calling a bail bond agent like Big Bubba’s in Arlington, TX. We’ll get you out as soon as possible.
✓ Lower Cost that Hiring Attorney
A bonds agent typically charges a non-refundable fee of around 10% of the total bail amount. That can be a much lower-cost option than paying the full bail amount or hiring an attorney.
✓ Assistance with Paperwork
A bail bond agent can help you navigate the bail process and complete necessary paperwork. And there will be a paperwork. A lot of it.
✓ Reduced Financial Risk
A bail bond agent assumes some of the risk associated with posting your bail, which can reduce your financial exposure. Basically, the defendant and the bail bond agent are both sharing the risk that you won’t show up for your hearing, forfeiting the bond.
Cons of Working with a Bail Bonds Agent
While there is much that a bail bond agent can do for you in the moment, once you’re out of jail they must essentially step away. You’re free until your hearing, but you’re navigating those waters alone.
✕ Limited services
A bail bonds agent can only assist with the bail process and cannot provide legal advice or representation.
✕ Financial obligation
Even with a bail bond, you’re still responsible for paying the full bail amount (which, again, is usually 10 times the bond) if you fail to appear in court.
✕ Higher risk
If you do not stay in good standing with the bond agent or fail to appear in court, your bond might be revoked. Then you would be returned to jail.
Big Bubba’s Bail Bonds in Arlington, TX
So now you have a decision to make. Hiring an attorney means legal expertise, representation in court, negotiation, and protection of rights. However, it can be expensive and time-consuming. In contrast, using a bail bondsman is a quick and affordable option to get out of jail, but it has limited services, the risk of losing money, and restricted freedom.
While the decision should be based on individual circumstances and the specifics of the case, it’s probably simpler than that. If you possibly can, our recommendation is to do both. Hire a bail bonds agent, put up 10 percent of the bail, get out of jail and immediately call an attorney. Your freedom is too important to risk.