What You Need To Know about Bail


Bail is the mechanism by which somebody that’s been arrested is able to be released from jail. It’s also sometimes interchanged with the term bond. It is a financial guarantee that you’re going to come back to court when you’re required to come back to court. If someone is arrested and bail is set at $1,000, payment of that $1,000 is your way of financially guaranteeing that you’re going to come to court. If you don’t come to court, that bail can be forfeited and of course, they can issue a warrant for your arrest for failing to appear. That is a financial way of guaranteeing that you appear as required until the case is closed, at which time if the bail was posted in cash, you receive that back or the depositor receives it back. If you went through a bondsman, then it’s simply the bail is discharged. When someone

What’s the Difference Between Bail and Personal Recognizance?

In some minor offense and in many federal cases, person accused of a crime may be released on their own recognizance. What that means is, they’re being released without a financial obligation for bail or bond. There will be certain conditions put in place by the court requiring you to either meet with a pre-trial release officer on a regular basis or potentially phoning in or checking in with them. There may be other conditions of release that are imposed. A release on your own recognizance or an ROR, is exactly that. It’s a non-financial release.

Contrarily, bail is always financial and is generally driven by a bail schedules and bail schedules can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Typically the more severe or serious the crime alleged, the higher the bail. They’ll also consider other factors that may aggravate the bail. For example, if you’re not a local resident they might set bail at a higher amount or if there are other aggravators in the case, they might set bail at a higher amount. Bail can vary for a number of reasons. That being said, you can have a motion filed with the court asking that bail be reduced so that you can actually have the ability to post it. So if it’s too high, always consider hiring a lawyer for the purposes of filing a motion to reduce bond.

Can a Federal Judge order you to give up your bail in order to get bail?

Yes, in a federal case a judge can absolutely ask you to surrender a passport as a precondition to your release, one of the many preconditions they can put into place to assure that you don’t flee the jurisdiction. The 2 primary purposes of being released on a criminal charge are to make sure that you show up to court and that you stay out trouble, showing up in court being paramount. If you have a passport, a federal judge can absolutely order that you surrender that passport before you may be permitted to be released.

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