Absolutely no one wants to stay behind bars after being arrested, and that is why posting bail is the next, key step in getting out of jail. Then, what happens?
Below is some excellent advice on how the bail process works and what you need to know as a defendant after your release and the conditions you may need to abide by before your trial date.
Factors in Judge’s Decision
A judge will weigh a number of factors when deciding on your bail conditions.
For instance, your criminal history will be scrutinized; the seriousness and nature of the crime you have allegedly committed will be taken into consideration; whether you have a history of substance abuse is another factor; your physical and mental condition will be weighed along with the risk that you would flee the jurisdiction, etc.
Three Bail Types
Bail has a simple purpose, and it isn’t to fine or punish the arrested party. The purpose of bail is to ensure that a defendant will appear for trial and attend all pretrial hearings for which they must be present.
Once a judge sets the amount, a bail allows for your release, and you, or your family or friends, will pay the full amount to get you out of jail until your court date.
A surety bond is another type of bail method you can choose, and in this case, a third party pays your bail and may request some form of collateral to secure the bond. You will also be expected to pay a nonrefundable percentage of the bail amount.
To search online for bail bond services in your area, you can search “bail bonds Bakersfield,” if you live in the Bakersfield area, for example, to find reputable and reliable bail bond agents.
Being released from jail on personal recognizance is the third bail type and means that you promise to pay a certain amount if you don’t appear in court for all of your hearings.
Your defense attorney will advise you that once you’re granted bail, you must follow all of the court proceedings that have been applied to your case. In other words, there will be conditions upon your release. Every jurisdiction will differ when it comes to bail laws and procedures, but there are some general conditions a defendant must obey while their court case is pending.
For example, these bail conditions often include that the defendant obeys all laws; stays away from certain people or places; does not possess any weapons; does not use drugs or alcohol and submits to testing; meets with a probation officer; consents to periodic searches; follows a curfew, maintains employment, and complies with any travel restrictions.
Violation of Bail Conditions
If you’re granted bail and decide to skip any of the conditions the judge has asked you to obey, you will find yourself in hot water. If you’re lucky, you will be given a warning.
Defense Attorney Representation
Whenever you have questions about your criminal case and what the specific bail conditions are for you, speaking with your defense attorney is the best advice. This legal expert will handle your case, and in the meantime, will be able to represent you at the bail hearing and make arguments for the least restrictive conditions.
You can always represent yourself in court and not hire legal representation, but most attorneys consider that a foolish strategy to take. When you waive the right to counsel, the deck is stacked against you.
If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, then, you can ask the court to appoint counsel. Public defenders are court-appointed attorneys who can represent you.
Getting arrested and finding yourself behind bars is a complicated situation. That is why learning how the bail process works and understanding your post-bail conditions are both essential for every defendant before their trial date takes place.