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How does bail work after you’re charged?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2023 | Criminal Law

Being charged with a crime is a significant event in your life. One of the first things you’ll have to figure out is how to get out of jail. While some people remain in prison pending the outcome of their case, this isn’t feasible for many. 

How you get out of jail depends mainly on what the court says. For more serious crimes, there may be no release options. The court may issue a bail or allow a person to be released on their own recognizance for less severe charges. 

What is bail?

Bail is a financial assurance that you will appear in court for every hearing in your case. It’s possible to pay cash, but some people can use real estate and other property to meet the court’s requirements. If the judge stipulates a cash-only release, you can’t use assets. Your money or property is released to you when your case concludes, as long as you make all necessary appearances.

For some people, the bail amount is too high for them to pay. They may turn to a bondsman to help them get out of jail. You must pay a portion of the bail amount to the bondsman. They will write a bond to the court to secure your release. You won’t get this money back after your case.

Being released on your own recognizance requires you to sign a promissory note stating you will appear in court. There isn’t any payment necessary for this type of release. 

While some bail amounts are standardized, others require a court hearing. Understanding your responsibilities, your options, and how they will impact you may help you decide on your case.