Anyone detained on criminal charges naturally wants to leave the jail as soon as possible. The primary way that a person can avoid confinement while awaiting the outcome of their case is by posting bail. Here is a closer look at how this system operates and how a detained individual can successfully post bail.
What Is Bail?
Bail is the system that the courts use to ensure that a person charged with a crime shows up for their court dates. It allows people who have been arrested the opportunity to remain free before their trial and also avoids clogging up the jails with people who are not dangerous and do not need confinement.
Detainees are able to avoid a long jail confinement by putting up cash or property that is forfeited if the individual does not appear in court as required. If the defendant does show up for their scheduled court appearances, then the cash or property put up as bail is returned.
How Is Bail Set?
The specific amount of bail necessary to get out of confinement is up to a judge. However, to simplify the process, many jurisdictions have fee schedules for less serious crimes. The schedule provides standard bail amounts for specific crimes. For instance, anyone charged with selling marijuana would have to pay a predetermined amount set by the courts.
An alternative method of setting bail is to use an algorithm that examines several factors, such as a defendant’s age and criminal record, to determine an appropriate bail amount.
What Are Bail Conditions?
A judge might set certain bail conditions on a particular defendant, such as remaining in the local area, if they think this is appropriate. If the defendant does not fulfill the conditions, then the judge has the option of canceling the bail and the person out on bail returns to confinement.
If the defendant’s violation of a judge’s condition or condition is minor, the judge might only give them a warning. The judge could also set more stringent conditions after a violation occurs, if they so choose.
What About Bail Bonds?
Many people charged with a crime are not able to pay bail because they do not have enough financial resources. These individuals have the option of using the bail bonds system to obtain their release from custody. Bail bonds are sureties offered by a bail bond firm that the person being bailed out will appear for their trial or hearing.
When a defendant uses a bail bond firm to post their bail, the person must pay the firm a small percentage of the bail amount, such as 10 percent, as a premium. In return, the bail bond company acts as an insurer for the defendant’s court appearance. If the defendant does not appear, the bail bond company must pay the full amount of the bail.
Sometimes, defendants are not able to put up 10 percent of the bail amount in cash, so they use personal property, such as a piece of real estate or a vehicle, as collateral. When the defendant misses a court appearance, the collateral forfeits to the bail bond firm.
A key point about the bail bond system is the premium is not returned even if the defendant appears in court as scheduled. The premium is kept as a charge for posting the bond with the court.
Anyone charged with a crime and who is does not have the financial resources to post bail needs to work with a qualified and experienced bail bond firm, such as Affordable Bail Bonds. We are available 24/ to help those in custody make bail. Contact us to learn more.