Criminal Defense Topics
After an arrest, it's a near certainty that you will need to "make bail" to get out of jail. The amount of your bail will vary depending on the charges, the jurisdiction, and sometimes factors related to your arrest. Bonding out of jail is not a legal right, so there are times when a judge can deny bonding out of jail.
What is Bail Bond?
A bail bond is essentially a formal promise made by an accused that if they are released from jail they will voluntarily return for court dates. A key part of the promise is the accused arranges for a specific amount of money (bail) to be paid by the court if the defendant fails to appear on any scheduled court date.
Any promised bail money must be verified! A defendant cannot simply verbally agree to pay money if they miss a court date. The court wants a true commitment that the funds exist.
How Much Will My Bail Be?
Depending on the charges you may or may-not be able to bond out very quickly. The average DUI has a "standard pre-set bond amount". This means that even late at night you can get out of jail within hours. For serious charges you will be in jail pending a bond hearing / preliminary hearing. At this hearing you will stand before a judge who will formally inform you of the charges and be advised on the courts decision on bail bond.
How to Get and Provide Bail Money
Firstly, as your defense law firm we can help you to navigate the bail bond process. There are numerous ways that you can pull together the necessary amount of the bond money.
You can use your cash, credit cards, and sometimes leverage real property such as a house that is fully paid off. You can arrange the money through a bail bondsman, however; you will still need to put-up at least 15% of the total amount.
Most bail bond companies can work with people regardless of their credit rating. Bad credit may affect the terms but bad credit does not necessarily mean you can't find a bondsman who will work with you.
Missing Court Date - Failure to Appear
If you miss a court date (known as Failure to Appear), a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. The bond will be immediately forfeited to the court.
If you worked with a bail bond company they will lose any money to which they committed on your behalf. The bail bonds company will likely engage the services of a bounty hunter to find you.
Ultimately, you will lose the bond money, face additional charges, be arrested, and jailed without any ability to post bail.