If you are placed under arrest, or if there is a warrant for your arrest, the number one question on your mind should be: How can I get out of jail?
For some offenses, the jail may have a Preset Bail order signed by a judge that allows your release on bail without a hearing. If you are arrested and there is a preset bail, you will be able to post bail immediately.
If the chargeable offense does not have a preset bail, your next opportunity at a bail will be at an Initial Appearance Hearing. These hearings usually happen at the jail within 48-72 hours of your arrest. At an initial appearance hearing, a judge will review your arrest warrant. The judge will also ask basic questions in order to decide an appropriate bail amount for your case.
The judge at the initial appearance hearing may cite the severity of your charges, domestic violence concerns, or other complex factors to withhold a decision for your bail until a later bond hearing.
At your Bond Hearing, an attorney can call witnesses, provide testimony, and negotiate a possible consent bond with a prosecutor. Bond hearings can also be appropriate for people who are unable to afford posting their current bail.
How do I post bail?
- Cash Bond: A cash bond will require a one-time payment in full to post bail. You can call the local jail or court to ask if they accept other forms of payment. They may accept a cashier check, money order, or credit card. The benefit of posting a cash bond is your ability to get your money back after the case is resolved.
- Professional Bond: A professional bondsman will charge you a percentage (between 10% – 15%) of the total bail amount to secure the release of your loved-one. The downside of a bonding company is the requirement that you lose collateral for your bond if the person fails to show up to court, and that you will not get your money back once the case is resolved.
- Property Bond: If you own property, you can use your equity in that property to post bail. In most counties your property needs to be worth at least two times the amount of bail. You can call the local jail or court to find out what paperwork (deeds, tax statements, etc..) is necessary to secure this type of bail.
- Signature Bond: A signature bond is also referred to as an O.R. (own recognizance) bond. This type of bond allows a person to be released on their promise to return to court, and without having to pay bail. A judge will consider many factors in deciding whether a person is eligible for an O.R. bond. Their financial situation, the severity of charges, criminal record, and likeliness to return to court are all determining factors.
Can I be held without Bail?
The short answer is yes. A judge will consider the following when deciding whether or not to grant bail.
- Whether the arrested person poses a risk of fleeing the jurisdiction
- If the person poses a danger to the community
- Whether the person poses a risk to commit other felonies
- If the person poses a risk of interfering with witnesses
Other factors that could interfere with your ability to post bail could include a Probation Hold, a Parole Hold, an Immigration Hold, an accusation of a serious crime requiring a bond hearing before a Superior Court Judge, or the violation pre-trial release conditions for any other pending cases.
Cut to the chase, can you get me out of jail?
A good felony defense attorney should be able to tell you the likelihood of getting you a bond hearing and the likelihood of bailing you out as soon as possible. An attorney can present the judge with evidence showing you are a good candidate for bail and show the judge why your bail amount should be ‘reasonable’ considering your specific financial situation. An attorney also has the ability to reach out to a prosecutor and try to secure a Consent Bond to present a joint recommendation to a judge.
There are many factors to explore in securing your bail and making sure you are not stuck in jail while your case lingers for months, or even years without a resolution. Contact our office today for more information about keeping you out of jail.