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What’s required to get out of jail pending a trial?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

People who are facing criminal justice charges often don’t want to have to remain in jail while their cases move through the criminal justice system. Instead, they want to be released so they can work on their case and take care of normal business while spending time with friends and family.

For some, getting out of jail while they await their court hearings involves signing a promissory note that says they agree to show up for their court hearings. This is known as being released on their “own recognizance.” Others will have to do more to secure a release.

Bail in criminal cases

Some defendants will have to post bail to secure their release from jail. The amount they must post is set by the court. Some charges may have pre-set bail amounts that apply to all cases involving that charge. Other charges may require a bail hearing to determine how much the person will have to put up to secure a release.

In many cases, the bail can be paid using cash or assets. The key is that the value has to equal the bail amount. When a person uses cash or assets to secure a release, they will get it back if they appear at their court hearings. If they fail to appear, they will forfeit whatever they put up.

Bond’s role in these cases

Not everyone has cash or assets to cover a bail amount. Those individuals may work with a bondsman to secure release. A bondsman will require a certain percentage, usually 10%, of the bail amount from the individual. They write a bond to the court to secure the person’s release.

Once the person is bonded out of jail, the bondsman is responsible for ensuring the defendant shows up in court. If the person doesn’t show up in court, the bondsman has to turn the defendant in or they will be responsible for paying the full bail amount. A person who uses a bondsman doesn’t receive any of the money they put up to secure the bondsman’s services.

Working with a legal representative from the onset of a case is often beneficial for defendants. For starters, that representative can attend a bail hearing to try to minimize the bail required and then they can get to work on a defense strategy designed to secure a favorable outcome, if at all possible.

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