If you've been arrested, the first thing you need to do is to remain silent except to ask for your attorney. When you're arrested for a serious crime, in all likelihood you're going to jail for at least a night. But you don't have to spend in jail the whole time
in jail until you're found innocent of the charges against you. Your criminal defence lawyer will start get the ball rolling getting you out of jail.
Here are some facts you need to know:
- In general, you need to post bail to get out of jail. Bail is typically an amount of money or a piece of property that you pledge to the court. It's part of your promise that you'll voluntarily return to court when you're ordered to do so. Most of the time, you will get your money or property back when you've shown up as ordered after you've posted bail.
- Bail thus functions as
somea sort ofcollateral of sorts. If you don't appear as ordered, the bail will be forfeit. You'll lose the money or property, and in most cases a warrant for your arrest will be issued and your non-compliance will result in even more criminal charges.
- If the crime is minor, then it's common for the bail to be automatically set. You then just have to pay up and you can get out of jail once the paperwork process is completed.●In other cases, you may even be released on your own recognizance. This means your reputation is so good that you're considered a very low flight risk. The court trusts you enough that they believe you will return as ordered even if you don't put up any bail. Again, this will need some
sort ofpaperwork processbefore you're let out of jail.
- Most of the time, however, there's a bail hearing before a judge which will set the amount of the bail. The criminal defence lawyer will ensure that your bail is set as quickly as possible, and that the amount of the bail is not
- Bail may be denied in some cases, which means you'll need to stay in jail until your trial is over. This can happen if the court deems that you pose too much of a risk to the public if you're allowed to get out of jail. You may also be deemed as a substantial flight risk,
andwhich means the court believes that you're likely to ignore any summons to return.
- The bail may also be set very high if you're a flight risk or a danger to the public. If you can't afford the bail, then your lawyer can ask for a reduction, though you will have to stay in jail until the next hearing.
- If the bail amount is too difficult for you to pay in full, you will need a bail bondsman. You can pay about 10% of the bail amount and generally you also have to offer some sort of collateral (such as property) in case you don't appear. The bail bondsman puts up the rest of the money.
If you don't appear in court as ordered, then the bail bondsman will send a bounty hunter after you so they can get their money back. Your collateral will also be sold off and the proceeds can go to the bail bondsman.
Bail can be a rather complicated process, but it's simple to just follow what your criminal defence lawyer tells you to do.