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What are bail and bond in criminal cases?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2024 | Criminal Defense

People facing a criminal charge often want to get out of jail as quickly as possible while awaiting the court process. While it’s sometimes possible that people will be released on their own recognizance, that’s not what usually happens.

Most people released from jail while their case moves through the court system must post bail. This is an amount of monetary assurance that they will appear for their court hearings in the future.

How is bail set?

The bail amount is preset for some charges. In other cases, the court will look at the circumstances and severity of the charge, the person’s criminal history and their ties to the community.

Bail amounts can be set as cash-only, but it’s also possible that property or assets may be accepted. Bail paid directly to the court without using a bail bondsman is returned to the defendant at the case’s resolution if they appear for their hearings.

What happens if someone can’t pay bail?

If someone can’t pay the full bail amount, they may use a bail bondsman. Typically, this requires the person to put 10% of the bail amount up with the bondsman. That fee isn’t refundable or returnable. The bondsman will then issue a bond to the court to secure the person’s release.

What happens if a person doesn’t show up for court?

A warrant is issued for failure to appear if they don’t show up for a scheduled hearing. If they posted their bail without a bondsman, they forfeit whatever they posted for bail. If they use a bondsman, the bondsman is responsible for finding them and bringing them to court, or they will be responsible for the bail amount.

When a person has to go before the court to set bail, it’s best to have legal guidance. This can help them protect their rights and make informed decisions.