If you think incarceration is only for people found guilty of a crime, think again. You could find yourself behind bars long before you even get to court, even if you’ve done nothing wrong.
Thousands of people lose days, weeks or even years of their life because they get arrested. If a judge refuses bail or sets the amount beyond their means, they lose all those freedoms we take for granted.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) estimates that over 600,000 people enter local jails every day after being arrested. They stay there for between 14 and 23 days on average.
Being behind bars prevents you from doing so much
You can’t see your family or friends. You can’t go to work and earn money, and your boss might even let you go. You can’t help around the house, help your kids with homework or continue your studies. You may miss exams, bill deadlines, job interviews, and so much more.
On top of that, being locked up could harm your mental health, reduce your physical health and jeopardize your safety.
Jail makes it harder to build your defense
Talking to a legal representative through the bars or through an intercom system is not ideal. You can get so much more done face-to-face in the privacy of their office. Being free to live in your home and go out makes it much easier to think, find alibis and track down others who could aid your defense.
All told, getting legal help to argue why you should get bail and why the amount should be affordable will improve your chances of a successful defense.