Planning for Your Child’s Future

Bail for Teens Charged with a Crime: What You Can Expect as a Parent

Teens and children charged with crimes are jailed just like everyone else. Thankfully, you no longer live in a world where children and adults are housed in the same jail cells together. You can at least take comfort in the fact that juveniles are housed separately from adults so that adult criminals will not harm your child. However, that still leaves you, the parent, in quite a pickle. If the judge says there will be no bail for your child, then he or she has to remain in jail until the court date. If the judge does allow bail to be posted, here is what you can expect.

Much Smaller Amounts of Bail

The courts view teens and children as young people who can more easily be molded and rehabilitated. As such, the bail amounts for teens and children are set a little lower than they are for adults in many counties and states across the country. It is very unusual for any judge to set bail for a teen or child at an amount higher than that of an adult, unless the courts have deemed that the teen will be tried as an adult. As such, you should not have much trouble finding a bail bondsman who can help you get your child out of jail. 

Ten Percent Still Applies

If your child is charged with vandalizing a car and then stealing the car, the judge might decide to set bail for $2,500 (just as an example). You would only have to find $250 to give a bail bond agent, a real bargain considering the total bail amount. A bond agent may require a little extra for filing and court fees, but the ten percent is the minimum requirement for the bail agent's help. 

Because You Are the Parent, You Have to Appear in Court Too

When it comes to honoring an appearance bond in juvenile court, not only does your teen have to appear, but you have to appear with him or her. Your kid cannot appear alone, since he or she is a minor and you accept responsibility for him or her. While the bail bond agent is typically required to be the one to force an adult to appear in court as the terms of the bail bond, in juvenile court that responsibility is shared with you, the parent. If you cannot make your teen appear or he or she runs off before you can get him or her in the car, it counts as bail jumping. You would need to get the police involved in order to track down your teen to get him or her to appear in court, and he or she may be rearrested and placed back in jail. 

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