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July 6, 2022  |  Posted by Balboa Bail Bonds Team  |  Bail Bonds

Bail is a process where you need to pay a specific amount of money of the total bail amount to get out of jail. The fact is that bail is not something you can get for free, and many people believe that if they offer a sad enough story, they may be able to get out for free. This is not the case, however, the good news is that there are a number of affordable options to ensure that you can get out of jail as close to free as possible. If you are wondering how to bail out of jail for free, or as close to free as possible, there are a variety of methods that can work based on your specific circumstances, including the following: 

Bail Bond Financing

In California, the total bail fee is 10%, but many bail bond companies including Balboa Bail Bonds, offer bail bond financing options. These include 8%, 7%, 6%, and down to 1%

0% Down Options

0% bail bonds are an option when you don’t have the money ready to pay your bond. Getting a bail bond with no money down can usually occur in two specific situations: 

When the bail amount is low, which would mean they can be bailed out without money but have to pay the 10% premium, either upon release or within a week. 

When the person has collateral, such as property or assets. 

Finding Someone To Pay the Bail

If you cannot afford the bail, but there is a loved one or a friend that can, this is an option. Usually, it is the most effective way to deal with pressing problems, as the bail bond company can call them directly to explain the variety of bail options. 


This is something many people might not consider but is a very effective process. Numerous crowdfunding pages or a social media collection can help to raise a lot of money in as little as a few hours. 

The Employer

If somebody gets arrested and they cannot afford to miss work, sometimes the employer may choose to bail them out and deduct the bail bond costs from their pay packet. This is a very common procedure in skilled trades, for example, construction work. There will be times when there is a major deadline, the boss may rather pay bail than endure any setbacks. 

What if I Cannot Afford To Pay Bail?

If this is the case, there are some alternative options that you could try: 

Apply for a Court-Supervised Release

Some states have the option to allow defendants to be released with a degree of court supervision. It may take a number of weeks or months to be approved, but there are a variety of options, such as checking in with a county probation officer, liaising with a court services officer, checking in via phone, wearing a GPS ankle monitor, or receiving text message reminders of court dates. 

Saying in Jail Until the Judge Decides What To Do

While it may not seem like a worthwhile option in the short term, sometimes a judge can benefit from having the time to look at the entire case holistically. 

Own Recognizance (O.R.)

This is an approach where you could get sentenced or released on a promise to appear in court at a later date. The benefit of having this means being released without the requirement of posting bail and is based on a written promise by the defendant to appear in court when required. 

How Does Own Recognizance Work? 

It works like a speeding ticket: the defendant will sign a written document promising to go to their court date and pay any fees or fines, and as part of the stipulations, there may be extra requirements, such as not leaving the state or notifying the arresting agency of any changes, such as occupation and residency, or checking in with a court officer. 

How To Qualify for Own Recognizance

Qualifying for this will depend largely on the location and can vary from county to county, and even city to city, depending on a number of components, including: 

  • Arrest History. First-time offenders are more likely to qualify for O.R. because they do not have any prior convictions. 
  • The Nature of the Crime. If the crime is considered less severe, for example, DUI rather than murder, it’s more likely the individual will qualify for Own Recognizance. 
  • Employment History. If the individual shows they’ve got a long and illustrious employment history, without any gaping holes, this may signify to the judge that the defendant is a more trustworthy person. 
  • Residence History. How long an individual has lived in the area may also be a defining factor.
  • Family Ties. If the defendant has family commitments or relatives and children in the local area, this may result in an Own Recognizance release as the individual has either a solid support network or they have to provide for dependents. 

Do You Need Support?

It’s important to remember that if you can pay the bail bond, it’s more beneficial, but as all bail bond companies are legally required to ask for a minimum of 10% of the total bail amount, we appreciate that this is not always easy to come up with. 

At Balboa Bail Bonds, we can offer a number of tailored repayment plans so you can reduce the amount of your down payment. With a variety of options like 8%, 6%, and 1% bail bonds available, these could help you, but you will need to have the following: 

  • A co-signer, who could be a member of your family or relative. 
  • Proof of employment. 
  • A California ID. 

Get Your Bail Needs Met Today

It can be challenging to find the right bail for your needs. If you are looking at how to bail out of jail for free, a 0% bail bond does not mean that it is free, because it will need to be repaid further down the line. 

As complicated as the process can be, at Balboa Bail Bonds, we aim to make the entire process easier and more accessible. If you or a loved one is looking to get released from jail, get in contact with us, and we can offer friendly and supportive help to meet your needs.