Once you have been arrested, staying out of jail typically isn’t an option. That is unless you are eligible for bail. Bail means if a set dollar amount is paid, you are released temporarily and able to return home until your next court appearance or when your trial begins. It keeps you out of jail, but only if you follow through with the requirements set forth by the bail.
Eligible for Bail
Before you can stay out of jail, the judge needs to decide if you are eligible for bail. A number of things will be considered during the arraignment, which is also known as a bail hearing. The judge will look at any character witnesses or references your attorney has compiled, see if you have a criminal record an dhow those cases ended, and generally find your flight risk and see what kind of person you are. If you are disrespectful during this hearing, the judge can deny bail or set it at an extremely high amount. It is important to be on your best behavior to increase your chances of meeting and being able to post bail.
Posting Bail – Financing Options
If you have been approved for bail, now you and your loved ones need to find a way to pay for it. If it was a lower, standard amount, this might not be that big of an issue. You can use money in your checking or savings accounts, borrow it from someone (they will probably get it back later on), or you can use a credit card. If none of these are options, a loved one can visit a local bail bondsman and get a bail bond for you. This means only a percentage of the bail amount needs to be paid, and you get released within a couple hours.
Getting a Bail Bond
Acquiring the bail bond is as simple as paying the 10% of the bail amount, filling out paperwork and waiting for your release. Find someone trustworthy who has access to your documents and you have been in contact with. A spouse or parent is best for getting a bail bonds. They will find a reputable agency nearby and give them the required information. Some bail bonding companies require collateral for higher bail amounts, but not always. Often, the 10% fee is enough. If they don’t know where to look for a company, look near the jail. Most of them are within a mile or so of local jails.
What to Do Next
Staying out of jail doesn’t stop with the bail; you also need to keep in contact with your defense attorney, the courts and the bail bondsman. Arrive to the court for all appearances and on time. Otherwise, an arrest warrant might be issues which causes you to go back to jail and you lose your bail status. If this happens, it could mean months in jail just for a missed court appearance.