Bail: Your Get-oOut-Of-Jail Card

Posted on: 31 August 2016

Anybody who has been arrested and lands in jail can say that the first thoughts while in there always revolve around getting out as fast as possible. The mental anguish and panic that can immediately take over you pushes a person towards an immediate exit strategy. This is where your get-out-of-jail card comes into play: bail.

Bail can be liquid cash, a property, or a bond that the person in jail issues to the court in exchange for their release. The court keeps your bail as security to ensure that you appear in court for your trial. With the help of good criminal lawyers, you can quickly get out of jail using this avenue, and without a lot of difficulties in the course of the process. 

Setting your bail

Bail is solely set by judges and not the prosecuting party. Criminal lawyers represent you at this stage to negotiate your release on bail, or even to lower your bail. When negotiating for lower bail, a special bail hearing is conducted with the judge where the criminal lawyers argue the premises of your request for lower bail. Otherwise, most jails have standardized bail schedules specifying bail amounts for common crimes. If there is no contest to your release on bail, paying the stipulated amount should immediately guarantee your release.

Contesting bail

Bail should not be set at exceedingly high amounts to punish you as a suspect of a crime. The best criminal lawyers can help you contest bail, should you not be able to pay the required amount. Remember, you are innocent and, until proven guilty, the courts should allow you the chance to be free until convicted. In specific cases involving some crimes, however, judges can set considerably higher bail amounts as a way of ensuring a suspect remains in jail until his or her case ends. It is in such situations that criminal lawyers play an important role in your freedom.

Bail conditions

Any person released on bail must adhere to specific conditions and rules indicated with the bail. In many instances, these conditions are usually basic requirements such as "the suspect should obey all laws during the time they are free on bail". In some instances, however, special conditions are added as a measure concerning the case. A suspect may, for instance, be required not to come in contact with a spouse as a bail condition if the case involves domestic abuse.

Paying bail

As earlier stated, bail can be paid in the form of cash, property, or a bond. Whichever form of payment you opt for, the value should cover the full amount of the instructed bail. When a case comes to conclusion, bail is usually refunded for the full amount, with only a small administrative fee charged. 

With the right criminal lawyers, a person can even get a waiver of payment on bail. This may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the basic concept functions on the premises that the suspect demonstrates strong ties with his or her immediate community and is unlikely to flee. 


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