When an individual goes to jail, the time to appear in court for trial may be weeks or even months away. Depending on the nature of the crime, the defendant may not have to wait in jail until the date of the trial. In most cases, a bail may be paid to allow the defendant to be released.
What is Bail?
Bail is a set amount of money paid by family members or friends to allow an accused person leave the jail until the trial. The bail acts as insurance for the appearance in court. The bail can be set by paying the full amount, pledging property or acquiring a surety bond form a bail bondsman. When the full amount is paid in accordance with bail schedule, the accused is released quickly.
Depending on the amount of paper work, the use of a bail bondsman may require some extra time. The bail bondsman receives a set fee from the person purchasing the surety bond. The amount of the surety bond is usually set at 10% of the total bail. The bail bondsman sends the necessary information to the court for the release of the defendant which occurs quickly usually within six hours.
If the accused does not appear in court on the set date, the amount of bail pledged is forfeited. When a bail bondsman is part of the process, the bondsman has the legal right to find and return the accused back to the court.
Cost of Bail
In the U.S. Constitution the Eighth Amendment guarantees that the amount of bail may not be excessive for the crime. The cost of bail still has numerous contributing factors to consider, including trial location and judge. Other aspects affecting the final amount of bail:
- The type or seriousness of the crime
- Past criminal record, a repeat offender may have a higher bail set.
- The possibility of the accused leaving the state or country
- Financial capabilities
If the accused is considered a danger to society or has a high risk of fleeing, bail may not be granted. When an accused is trying to be released from jail, an experienced criminal defense attorney can aid in the process. The lawyer will have firsthand knowledge of the local system, including the judges with an extensive legal background to help arrange the release of the accused in the case.