Posting bail is usually a much better alternative than staying in jail while you await your trial. However, depending on how high your bail is set, you may not have the funds needed to cover the bail. Sometimes, you may have the money but it may not be readily accessible.
Rather than staying in jail, it's usually advisable to hire a bail bonds agency so you only have to worry about covering part of the bail. If this is the route you intend to take, you'll want to get your finances ready for the application process.
Do You Have Collateral?
Many people hire a bail bondsman because they're unable to afford the full cash bail. This will require paying around 10% of the total cash bail to the agency that vouches for you in court. However, due to the amount of money involved, it's likely that the bail bond agency will need some form of collateral.
Collateral is something valuable that the bail bond agency can take possession of to guarantee that you'll appear in court. Without collateral, the company will be on the hook for the whole amount if you fail to appear in court. Therefore, if you're going to apply for a bail bond, you'll probably need something as a form of collateral.
What Do You Need to Qualify for a Signature Bond?
There is a possibility that you won't need collateral. This is the case if you qualify for a signature bond. This means that the agency can vouch that you'll show up in court and if you fail to do so, they'll be on the hook for the full bail amount.
However, not everyone qualifies for signature bonds. Before the bail bond agency vouches for you, they'll have to take a look at your credit history, time spent at a given address, the type of crime committed, whether or not you have a criminal background etc. Therefore, this would be a good time to ensure your credit history looks good.
What Other Options Are There?
If you cannot afford to pay the cash bail, going for a bail bond is your only option. If a signature bond is out of the question, then you'll need to come up with some form of collateral. If you can get more money than the 10% fee you'll need to pay for the bail bond, you can use this as collateral.