When you are arrested for a crime, the police officer can give you a ticket with your signed pledge to appear in court on a certain day or the police officer can take you to jail. When you are put in jail, you will need to post bail to get out of jail. Bail is a temporary release of a person who is awaiting a court trial on the condition that he or she puts up money to ensure they will appear in court. If you have questions about bail, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney.
The court will set the amount of bail to be paid. Payments are usually made by cash, money order, or a cashier's check. A defendant can post his or her own bail or find another individual to post it on his or her behalf. Once bail has been posted, the court will issue a document or court order that allows the defendant to be released from jail.
Factors for setting a financial dollar amount for bail may vary depending on the nature of the charges or whether the crime involved brutality, revenge, or threats to public safety. A judge or magistrate will examine the defendant's past criminal background and all evidence against him or her. If a defendant is a major threat to society or has committed a serious crime, he or she may be held without bail. When a case ends with all obligations satisfied, the bond money is usually returned. However, in some cases, administrative costs may be deducted.
A well-versed criminal defense attorney can help you understand the terms and penalties of the bail process. Furthermore, your attorney can plead your case in advance and help reduce bail. It is wise to connect with a criminal defense attorney at the start of your case so he or she can get your case ready for trial.
If the defendant does not have means to post his or her bail, he or she can seek the help of a bail bondsman or commercial bond agent, who acts as a surety for the bond. The agent posts bail after collecting a nonrefundable fee, usually 10 to 20%, from the defendant or from family or friends. When the defendant does not have money to give to the commercial bond agent as security, he or she can provide other types of collateral, such as jewelry, securities, or other items of value. Then, the bail bond agent agrees to pay the remaining amount to the court if the defendant does not appear in court.
Often a bail bond agent will require a defendant to stay in contact via phone or in person to ensure the defendant does not skip town to avoid appearing in court. In some cases, the defendant may be monitored or guarded to ensure an appearance in court. A bail bondsman is not required to post bail when he or she believes a defendant will not honor the obligations of the bond.
When an individual does not appear, a court can issue a bench warrant, which will forfeit any of the person's bail. A bench warrant will give law enforcement the authority to execute the warrant anytime. Also, the issuing of a bench warrant gives a bail agent the right to hire a bounty hunter to help find and capture a person in exchange for a portion of the bail forfeited to the court. The consequences of not appearing in court can be severe, including fines or imprisonment, or both.
If you want to learn more about setting bail and the bail process in your case, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney. Boston Criminal Defense Attorney, Edward Molari can provide you with legal advice that may help reduce the bail or lessen the charge. He cares about your situation and provides personalized legal services in every case. Contact Attorney Edward Molari at 617-942-1532 for a free consultation.