Chances are, you’ve heard bail mentioned in a movie or TV show. Either a person is denied bail or it’s set at some incredibly high amount that they can’t pay. But unless you or someone you know has been arrested before, you’re probably not too familiar with how bail actually works.
What is Bail?
When you’re arrested for something, there’s usually a court hearing set up that you’ll be required to appear at. Depending on your record, the severity of your crime, and some other conditions, the authorities may not trust that you’ll appear in court when you’re supposed to.
If that’s the case, you’ll be held in prison until your court date unless you can pay a specified bail.
Bail is a set amount of money that must be paid to the courts before you can leave. Should you not show up for your court date, the money (or in some cases, valuables) used to pay bail will be forfeited. Also, you’ll be considered on the run from the law at that point.
If you show up for your hearing, that money will go back to the person who paid it, and your trial will proceed accordingly. In many cases, the time between the arrest and the trial can be quite lengthy. Bail allows you to carry on with your life and make necessary arrangements before facing the judge.
What if I Can’t Afford Bail?
Should you or someone you know be unable to post bail, you may be able to pay with a bail bond. This is essentially a loan that comes from a bail bondsman or agency. The bond covers the bail, and if you don’t show up, the person who signed the bond for you (known as the guarantor) will have to pay the amount.
Even if you show up, there’s typically a premium that’s charged for a bail bond. This must be paid regardless of what happens.
Often, there are certain conditions and restrictions set when a person is placed on bail. For example, they may have to stay in a certain area, avoid certain activities or people, etc.
Should these be violated, the judge can revoke bail, and you can be arrested again.
Can I Fight Bail?
If you believe bail is set too high (or you are denied bail), you may be able to fight it in a bail hearing. From there, the judge may lower your bail.
To make sure your bail is fair, and to protect yourself in your eventual hearing, you need an experienced criminal law attorney by your side. Our lawyers in Springfield, Ohio are here for you. Contact the offices of Michael T. Edwards today.