If you or someone close to you has never been arrested, you may not know how bail works in the State of Washington.
A tool for gaining release from custody, bail is designed to guarantee a defendant’s appearance in court to answer charges. The amount that bail is set at varies depending on the severity of the crime and the perceived risk of the person not showing up for court or even fleeing the area.
When the defendant or a family member is unable to pay the bail amount in cash, they can post a surety bond through a bail bonds company, which includes paying a 10-percent cash premium. This style of bail tends to be a good motivator for the person to appear in court on the appointed day, says Mike Rocha, bail agent and manager of All City Bail Bonds’ Everett office.
“No one wants to put grandma’s home at risk or another family member who has put up money for you. It makes a person think twice about not showing up for court,” he says. Commercial bail companies pay the court the full amount in the case of a no-show. “We have some stake in the game and so does the family. Plus it helps ensure the victims have some sense of satisfaction.”
Doing more than guaranteeing an appearance
While their services sometimes involve searching for and bringing someone back to face charges, more often All City Bail Bonds staff work with defendants and their families to help provide stability and accountability, Rocha says.
“We check in with them and work to ensure people are on track for attending trial,” he says. “We’ll go to their homes and make sure they’re doing what they’re supposed to, living where they’re supposed to and not out committing more crime.”
Through the company’s 30-year history in Washington, All City bail agents have developed relationships with their clients, Rocha adds, to the point where at times, “we act as a defendant’s therapist and their probation officer and counselor.”
Bail allows a person to move forward
When a person avoids incarceration by having bail posted, it can be the motivation to seriously seek help, Rocha says. “The idea behind bail is to allow someone to continue their life. Our role within the legal community and the greater community is one we take very seriously and we’re very proud of it.”
Locations across the Pacific Northwest
With offices close to every major jail in the state, including in Seattle at 601-6th Ave., All City Bail Bonds provides service 24/7. You can call the Seattle office at 206-622-9999 or find a location near you. Visit them online at allcitybailbonds.com or on Facebook.