How To Post Bail After You’ve Been Arrested
Nobody wants to go to jail. But when they do, it’s fair to assume that getting out of jail is pretty high up on the list of priorities. In many cases there is actually a way to do this, which is by posting bail.
Posting bail means giving the court cash, a bond (known as a “bail bond”), or property to ensure that the person being let out of jail will appear in court when ordered to do so. If a defendant doesn’t show up for their court date, the court can legally keep the bail and then issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.
How Much Is Bail?
A judge is responsible for setting the bail amount. However, because most people who go to jail want to get out immediately (rather than waiting a day or two to see a judge), many jails have standard bail schedules that specify bail amounts for common crimes.
For example, a person arrested for misdemeanor domestic violence may only have to pay $500 for bail. A felony domestic violence charge, however, usually means at least $50,000 to post bail.
Different crimes have different bail amounts, and a each county in California sets their own bail schedule rates.
How Bail Is Paid
After an arrest, bail can be paid in several ways:
Cash/Check: If a defendant has enough money to pay the full amount of their bail, they can simply write a check or give cash to the court. Once that payment has been made, the defendant is released on bail and must return for their court date.
Property: A defendant can offer the court property as bail collateral to secure their release. Property can be anything of value the defendant owns, like their car, home, jewelry, or other assets that they own outright.
For items like a home or car, the court will typically place the deed or pink slip in their trust. For smaller items like jewelry, the court will take physical possession of those items until the case is resolved.
Bail Bond: If a defendant doesn’t have enough money and/or property to post bail after an arrest, they can work with a bail bondsman to secure their release with a bail bond.
Conditions Of Bail
Defendants who have posted bail after an arrest must typically comply with what’s known as “conditions of release”. These are rules that a defendant must follow while out on bail. If they don’t, they can be re-arrested and returned to jail.
Common conditions include things like requiring someone out on bail to “obey all laws”. Other conditions may be specific to the type of crime a defendant was arrested for. In the case of domestic violence, for example, a condition of bail may prohibit the defendant from any contact with the alleged victim.
Working With An Attorney To Post Bail
Not everyone gets arrested with their checkbook or a pocket full of jewelry that they can use to post bail. While contacting friends and family is a common solution, it’s even better to contact a criminal attorney if possible.
A lawyer can not only help a defendant arrange bail, they can begin immediately responding to the charges against them as well.
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