One of the first things a person wants to know when they’re arrested is what they have to do to get out of jail. For some charges, getting out is a matter of waiting for a certain time to elapse. For others, you’ll have to post bail before you can be released.
Bail is set as an assurance that the individual will attend court hearings for the case. The bail for some common charges might be preset, but it may require a hearing for unusual cases or those involving extenuating circumstances. Other conditions, such as having a GPS monitor are also possible in some cases. If you don’t show up for court, bail can be revoked, you lose the money or assets you put up to secure your release and an arrest warrant will be issued.
#1: Bail can’t be excessive
The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution forbids excessive bail in criminal cases. This means that the court can’t set a high bail amount as a way to punish a person because they were arrested. The bail amount should be set to ensure the defendant will return for the hearings.
#2: A bond may be used to secure release
Defendants don’t always have the money or assets required to get out of jail. They may use a bail bondsman to secure a release. The defendant has to pay the bondsman a certain percentage of the bail. The bondsman gives the court a bond for the defendant’s release. If the defendant doesn’t show up for court, the bondsman will try to locate the person and turn them over to the court.
#3: Release without bail is sometimes possible
Some defendants are released from jail without having to pay a bail. This is known as being released on your own recognizance. If the court issues an “OR” release, you’ll have to sign a promissory note that states you’ll attend all court hearings.
Facing criminal charges means you need to consider your defense strategy. It’s easier to work on the strategy if you’re out of jail. Working with someone who can help you to determine what options you have is important.