What Does Bail Mean?
Being arrested is a terrifying experience. If you or your loved one are in custody, you may feel overwhelmed trying to understand the legal proceedings after the arrest. Although you may know that bail involves a predetermined and often trivial amount of money, there are also cases where the defendant can argue to lower their bail — or avoid paying it altogether. Keep reading to learn how the bail process works.
What Is Bail?
Think of bail as a loan the defendant supplies to secure their temporary release from jail until their scheduled court date. Cash is the most common form of payment accepted, but collateral can also work. If the defendant appears in court, the bail payment is returned to them in full. Bail is set according to a predetermined bail schedule. According to the U.S. Constitution, bail cannot be “excessive” so as to raise money for the courts. In some cases, however, bail is still too expensive for the client to supply the cash or assets to afford their temporary release. The defendant then has the option to request their family’s assistance or hire a bail bond agent.
How a Bail Hearing Works
Bail is set after an arrest, but it is not always fixed. Depending on the jurisdiction and nature of their crimes, the defendant may have the option to attend a bail hearing if they are not immediately bonded out of police custody.
At a bail hearing, the defense and prosecution make brief arguments about why the bail should be kept as is or reduced. Witness testimonies may be permitted. The defense may even argue for an own recognizance (OR) release if this is supported by the nature of the charges, the defendant’s character, and a clean criminal background. OR release allows the defendant to leave prison without posting bail. In other cases, the defendant may be released until their hearing by signing a personal bond, agreeing to accept criminal and/or civil penalties if they fail to appear in court.
The Pros of Hiring a Bail Bond Agent
A bond agency can help you avoid staying in police custody overnight and assist you in as quickly as 24 hours. Getting bonded out of police custody as soon as possible offers you more time to meet with your attorney and understand the legal proceedings related to your case. In many cases, the trial can be scheduled weeks into months after the arrest takes place, forcing you or your loved one to remain in jail during that time.
Get Help Fast From an Experienced Agency
If you or your loved one are struggling to come up with a bail bond, Freedom Bail Bonds assists clients in Tarrant County, TX, and around the country 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We specialize in providing bail bonds for immigration issues, traffic tickets, felonies, and misdemeanors. Our experienced team of agents are standing by to provide you comprehensive care. Call us today at 817-795-5300 for a free consultation. We speak Spanish (se habla español)!