Getting arrested is a stressful and scary situation. So, once you are taken to jail the only thing going through your mind is how you are going to get out. This is usually accomplished by posting a bail, which allows you to be released from jail until your scheduled court date. A bail bond typically consists of using cash or a form of property that has cash value. The following information will guide you through the process of how the amount of bail is determined and how to proceed with posting bail.
In some situations the police department will inform you of the bail required for your release. However, in the majority of situations, after being arrested you will be scheduled to appear before a judge for a bail bond hearing. During the hearing you will find out if you are being released on your own recognizance (no upfront cash) or if you are required to post an appearance bond for a pretrial release. The bond is required to ensure you return to court on the scheduled date. The bail amount will vary depending on what you have been charged with.
If the judge determines you can be released on O.R. (own recognizance), you will sign a statement agreeing to appear in court on the required day and time. If you are not release on O.R. the judge will inform you of the amount of bail required for your release. There a few different options for how you can post bail, including:
- Paying by cash
- Signing over ownership rights to property (typically a house)
Using a Bail Bond Company
If you or someone you know does not have the bail amount required, you have the option to contact a bail bondsman to post the bail bond for you. In most situations, in order to be released 10% of the bail is needed in cash. When a bail bondsman is used, you will be required to supply the bondsman with all of your personal information as well as collateral for the amount borrowed. If you fail to appear in court, the bondsman can cash in on the collateral you provided, which means if you put your home up as collateral, they can sell it to recoup the money paid to the court as well as the fees incurred for the security loan.
If you return to court on the scheduled date and time, the court will return your bail. However, if you do not appear for the scheduled court date, you bail will be revoked and a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. It is also important to keep in mind that if you violate any of the conditions of your bail, your bail bond will be revoked and you will have to return to jail.