When a person is arrested and has been charged with a crime they are placed into police custody. However, in some instances they can apply for bail. This is the process of agreeing to pay a set amount of money in exchange for the accused person’s release. The accused person can then spend the time awaiting the trial in his or her own home instead of a jail cell.
Subsequently, A bail hearing is when a court will meet to decide if the accused can be let out of jail. The hearing will also decide the amount of money that the bail is set at. During this hearing the judge will take into account issues or concerns that could impact their decision.
Issues taken into account during one of these hearings:
- The criminal history of the applicant
- The financial situation of the application
- The physical and psychological condition of the application
- The home life and family situation of the applicant
- If the applicant has a history of substance abuse
- The length of time the applicant has lived in the local community
- If the applicant has previously appeared at court dates
If the judge believes that the accused could be flight risk or a danger to the community or themselves then they will not be granted bail. However, even if it is granted there can still be restrictions. A curfew can be imposed on the accused along with requiring regular drug and alcohol tests.
The term posting bail refers to the actual act of paying the amount to the courts. Once the amount has been paid to the court an official document stating that bail was granted will be issued and the accused can be released from custody. Upon appearing in court at the appointed dates and times you will receive the full amount back.
Not everyone has the money to post themselves and in this instance a bail bond can be purchased to secure the accused’s release. A bail bondman will post on behalf of the accused but instead the accused will need to pay around 10% to the bondsman. If bail is posted using this type of service, then the amount paid to the bail company will not be returned or repaid.
In some cases the accused will be released without having to pay anything. Instead the accused will have to sign a legally binding statement that indicates that they will turn up to their court date. This option is often available to people who are only charged with minor crimes with no criminal history. Yet if the accused fails to appear in court a warrant will be issued for their arrest and you may be held without bail until your trial.