Getting Out Of Jail For A Price

If you find yourself arrested and locked up, the main thoughts you have are how to get out and how to do it quickly. Besides the obvious reasons for seeking freedom, there is the notion that it will be far easier to defend yourself against the criminal charges if you aren't behind bars. The criminal justice system provides those arrested with several protections, since those arrested are considered innocent until proven guilty. With that in mind, there are some options available for getting released from jail, so read to learn more.

What is bail?

Bail is the payment to guarantee that a released suspect will return to stand trial. Bail can either be made by check, money order, proof of property, or  bond. When someone is "bonded out," they use a bail bond company who "fronts" the full price of the bail in return for a portion of that bail amount, a percentage fee that pays the bonding company and the guarantee of property or payment later. It should be noted that bail is not always needed. In some cases, a suspect is released "on their own recognizance". Some of the same conditions that allow bail to set (shown below) align with those for this type of release.

Will bail be an option?

In most cases, you will be given this option, but not always. Being released from jail while you await your trial, which may take months, is not a guarantee and is based on several factors. Some offenses do not have a bail option, and some situations make bail a no-go. For example, since the purpose of bail is to provide a guarantee that the suspect will return to face trial, bail may not be available for those who may have the potential to flee.

If bail is an option, the arrested will be informed of the amount, and they may be bailed out before they ever appear before a judge. In most cases, however, the suspect appears via video before the judge (called an arraignment in some locales) and pleads guilty or not guilty. A bail amount is then set. If you have an attorney with you, your attorney may request that bail be lowered by showing that you:

  • Have ties to the community
  • Have lived in the area for some time
  • Have little to no criminal record up to now
  • Have a job and family in the area
  • Have a history of being arrested but have always returned for trial

Keeping your nose clean

If you are fortunate enough to be released before your trial date, your bail will carry some restrictions. Generally, you must agree to obey the laws. In some instances, the bail carries specific requirements that are connected to the offense. For example, if you have been arrested for domestic violence, one of the bail requirements may be to stay away from and not to contact the alleged victim.

Criminal charges of any kind are likely to be serious, so contact a criminal law defense attorney right away if you have been arrested. Contact a firm like Alexander & Associates, P.C. to learn more.