Everyone that has ever been put in jail will tell you that their first thought is “how do I get out of here?” Posting bail is generally the best answer. Read on to learn everything you need to know about bailing out of jail.
What Is Bail and How Does It Work?
After you’ve been arrested, you are entitled to a bail hearing where your bail amount will be set. Bail is the amount of collateral you have to give to the court to ensure that you will show up for your scheduled trial date. Bail can be cash, a bond, or property. If you end up skipping or missing trial, the court will keep that bail and issue a warrant for your arrest.
Bail was created to allow you to stay free until you’ve actually been convicted of a crime, while making sure that you show up for your trial. The Eighth Amendment prohibits judges from setting bail too high. This is to prevent the government from using bail as a means to raise money or punishing you without a conviction.
When your bail amount is set, you will also likely be given a list of bail conditions that you must follow. For example, you may be required to surrender your passport or comply with a temporary restraining order. If you violate any of the conditions, your bail may be forfeited and you could be arrested again.
How Do I Pay Bail?
As mentioned earlier, you can pay your bail amount in a few different ways, including:
- Cash or check for full bail amount
- Collateral property of equal value to bail
You should only get a bond as a last resort. Bonds typically cost more in the long run than posting bail with cash or collateral. Where the bail amount is refundable, minus the administration fee, a bond seller’s fee is not. You may also be required to offer up collateral to the bond seller, too.
Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
After you’ve been arrested, it is highly advisable to consult with an experienced defense lawyer. Trusting a public defender is often risky since they have more clients than they can realistically handle and rarely have time to focus any effort on your particular case. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help you determine the best course of action.
At Julian, Crowder & Shuster, our Lewisville, TX criminal defense attorneys can help you find the best solution for your legal troubles, and make sure that your case is handled professionally and with great care.