If you are arrested, it is up to you to find an attorney and keep in contact with a close friend or relative to let them know about your bail amount. Not all people will even get bail, but if it is a standard crime, you have no criminal history and no history of running from the judicial system before, it is likely you will be approved for bail. Here are some tips for what to do during the entire bail process.
After the Arrest
Your obligations start right after you have been arrested. Use your phone call to talk to someone most likely to front your bail and help you get a defense attorney. Call them and let them know what jail you are in, so this person can show up and pay your bail if and when it is appropriate. They can also help be a character witness among others. Once your attorney shows up, you will want to provide them with the name and number of this person and anyone else that can vouch for you during the arraignment.
During the Arraignment
First and foremost, understand this is not a trial or typical court appearance. You and your lawyer are not there to defend your case. An arraignment is only for the judge to bring charges against you, and only includes you, your lawyer, the prosecuting attorney and the judge. You are not able to plead your case at this time, but your defense attorney can push for bail by providing your contacts. They can also try and get you a lower bail amount if they can prove you are an upstanding citizen in your community. The more respectful you are in your hearing, the better chance you will get bail.
Released on Your Own Recognizance
To be released on your own recognizance is similar to being released on bail, but no money needs to be paid. In some cases, your crime is minor and you have an excellent track records, which awards you a free release until your future court appearances. If you are a great citizen in your community with no criminal history, your judge may warrant you this type of release. But like bail, you must use the release wisely and return to court when requested.
Paying the Bail Money
Your next job, which is really the responsibility of the person handling your bail from outside of jail, is posting the bail amount. If you have the money in a checking or savings account, provide that information to your friend or loved one, so they can withdraw the money and quickly pay the bail. If not, they will need to come up with the funds on their own or get a bail bond. If they need to use a bail bond, you have responsibility not only to the courts to show up when requested, but to the bondsman as well.
The last thing you must do is appear to court on time and when requested, otherwise a warrant for your arrest is issued.