Understanding the Bail Hearing Process

If you have been caught in some trouble, you are probably looking for some "must-read" type of information about the bail hearing process. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word "bail" can be defined as: "The temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial, sometimes on condition that a sum of money is lodged to guarantee their appearance in court." This is the most clear and precise way to define the concept of bail. In addition, you must undergo a legal process that involves appearing in court in order to satisfy the terms of this agreement. For this reason, you will want to prepare by learning about how the bail hearing process works.


Procedure

There are various steps that need to be taken before completing the bail hearing process. Before you must attend a hearing in court, you must be able to obtain bail. In general, there is a process for determining whether an individual is eligible for bail which is both time consuming and lengthy. This process consists of the following steps:

  1. Interview witnesses of incident (i.e. police officers, passers-by)

  2. Gathering required documents ( i.e. criminal record of the accused)

  3. Interview those in close relationships with the accused (i.e. friends and family)

  4. Attend bail hearing and wait for decision


Types of Bail


In the United States, there are various types of bail that you may want to know about before attending your bail hearing in court. It should be noted that some of these types are not used very frequently as they are conditions of extenuating circumstances in most cases. There are five different types of bail that can be made available to individuals who are facing charges in the U.S.

  • Bail in Cash: the accused must pay the total amount that he/she owes in bail using only cash. However, there are certain courts that will allow individuals to pay with credit card or using checks.

  • Bail Through Surety Bond: A family member or friend of the accused will need to contact a bail agent who will serve as the insurance and guarantee that the accused will appear in court. This is a costly type of collateral as bail agents typically charge a high premium.

  • Release Based on Citation: The police officer involved in the incident with the accused has the ability to provide a citation to him/her which states (and serves as a type of guarantee) that the accused will appear in court.

  • Release Based on History: If an individual has a good or "clean" record, the release will be based on the concept of "personal recognizance." Generally, the accused is not considered a flight risk, and the court has little concern that he/she will not show up to the specified court date.

  • Bail Through Property Bond: Some courts will allow the accused to use property as a way of guaranteeing his/her presence in court. However, this process requires a legal claim that allows the accused to be exempt from any bail charges.




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