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Here's why you should always bail out your loved one

What happens if you get a phone call telling you that your spouse, best friend or brother is in jail and needs help with bail? Should you do it?

Absolutely. Even though you may have emotional reservations about "bailing someone out" when they get into trouble (especially if they have a chronic problem) or financial concerns because of the expense, it's important to take advantage of bail whenever it's offered.

Here's why it's so important not to leave a loved one in custody any longer than necessary:

1. Your loved one may feel intense pressure to plead guilty.

There's a very real problem with this country's court system today. Instead of going to trial, 94% of cases at the state level and 97% of cases at the federal level end up being resolved through plea deals. The longer your loved one sits in jail, the more pressure he or she will likely feel to accept a plea that will end in a release -- even if he or she is innocent.

Remember: A plea deal is legally the same as a conviction. That could unfairly leave your loved one with a criminal record that will haunt his or her footsteps forever.

2. Any plea deal your loved one is offered could be unfair.

When someone is already in custody, the government holds all the power. There's less incentive for a prosecutor to lower charges, offer a better deal or negotiate with your loved one's attorney as long as your loved one is sitting behind bars.

3. Your loved one may need treatment he or she can't get in jail.

If addiction or alcoholism led your loved one to a criminal act, he or she needs treatment. That won't happen while he or she is in jail. Getting treatment can also, ultimately, convince a judge to be lenient on a defendant when it comes time to hand down a sentence.

If your loved one was charged with a crime, don't leave his or her future up to chance. Get an experienced, dedicated Maryland criminal defense attorney. Explore our site for more information.

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