How Low-Income Families Can Afford Bail

How Low-Income Families Can Afford Bail

Situations arise, and you or your family members and close friends may need assistance regarding issues like being arrested. However, paying for the release is not always a simple task, especially for low-income families. Below are options and tips when it pertains to bailing out of jail without having enough money saved.

Own Recognizance

Some judges will grant a defendant this type of bond based on the seriousness of the case. Typically, the person is not considered a flight risk or danger to the community, and they may be granted this type of bond. The charge is reviewed with an OR bond (own recognizance), and the judge can decide to release the defendant. In most cases, the person doesn’t need to spend any time in jail during the trial. Paying a bond is typically unnecessary; however, the judge will mandate that the defendant follows a list of rules and show up for every court date, as outlined in the release agreement.

PR Bonds

Some low-income individuals do not have the money to bond out, but they can take courses, often therapeutic, as an alternative to paying cash or using personal property. You can ask the courts or a court-appointed attorney about the PR bond and if it applies to your situation. As long as you follow the stipulations of the bond and make court appearances, you should remain out of jail during the trial.

Payment Plans

When trying to find a bail bonding agent, it would be a good idea to look for agencies that offer payment plans for low-income families. In this situation, you would typically pay an upfront fee and then make monthly or biweekly payment arrangements based on the agency’s preferences and your financial abilities. However, you do not need to wait until the bond amount is paid in full to be released.


Some low-income families do not have a stable job or credit history, and they automatically assume bail bonding agencies will turn them away. This is not always true. Therefore, it would be best to speak with the agency directly because some of the options could include using a co-signer to help to bond out. The co-signer will also assume financial responsibility, ensuring the bond is covered in the event you or a loved one do not show up for the trial or go on the run.

Having a low income doesn’t mean you have fewer options when bailing out of jail. You can use the strategies mentioned above or speak with a bail bonding agent for more information.

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