The thought of being taken into custody can be terrifying. You may not fully understand how your criminal case is going to play out, and the threat of conviction and its accompanying penalties can be crushing. But the chances are good that you won’t have to languish in jail while you wait for your case to play out. But in order to get out pending your case’s resolution, you’re going to have to be proactive.
Why do courts require bail?
The bail system has two primary purposes. The first is to protect society from individuals who pose a threat. That’s why those who are accused of murder are often held without bail. The second reason is to ensure that an accused individual will return to court when they’re summoned to do so. This is because the bail amount is typically released back to the accused individual once the case is resolved.
How does bail work?
The amount of bail imposed has to be paid to the court if you want to get out of jail. This amount is then held pending your case. If you continue to return to court, that bail amount will likely be returned to you.
In some instances, the bail amount is extremely high, rendering it difficult to pay. That’s why many people turn to bail bond companies to help them pay the bail amount. Here, you typically front a certain amount of the bail amount, say 10%, while the company pays the rest. To ensure that they’re minimizing their risk, though, the bail bond company will probably have you sign off on documentation that gives them collateral interest in your other property.
Can you argue over bail?
Absolutely. And you should. The prosecution has the burden of showing that you should be detained pending bail being posted. Therefore, they’re going to try to show that you pose a threat or that you’re likely to flee the jurisdiction if you’re released on a smaller bail amount.
This can be a ridiculous argument. Yet, the prosecution can be very persuasive. That’s why you’ll need to be prepared to argue back as to why you don’t pose a safety threat or a flight risk. You might demonstrate to the court that you still work in the area and have family in town, or that you have strong evidence to show your innocence and are, therefore, eager to return to court to fight the charges that have been levied against you.
To provide the court with additional assurances, you may consider agreeing to methods of monitoring. This may include acquiescing to GPS tracking, home detention or a curfew. Even though those options may seem excessive under the circumstances, they might be your ticket to getting out of jail while you figure out how to fight your charges.
Does your attorney know how to address your bail issues?
Remember, you need to be proactive when addressing bail. Otherwise, the court may side with the prosecution and impose a bail amount that is too high for you to pay.
Fortunately, your attorney should be equipped to address this issue and make the arguments that you need to protect your interests. But not all attorneys are created equal. Therefore, you need to fully vet your representation options so that you can choose the one that’s right for you and will give you the best chance of obtaining a favorable outcome.
Therefore, if you’re worried about your criminal defense and your bail, now may be the best time for you to reach out to a legal team for the support that you need.