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Post Bail or Go to Jail

Bail is cash, a bond, or property that an arrested individual gives to the court to regain their freedom - at least until their trial - and to ensure that they show up for all scheduled court appearances. If they fail to do so, the court will keep the bail money and issue an arrest warrant.

The bail amount is set by a judge. Factors taken into consideration include the seriousness of the crime, the accused's prior criminal record, their financial resources, and their likelihood of being a flight risk. In some states, a suspect may request a lowered bail at a special bail hearing or at their arraignment (first court appearance).

If the accused has been charged with a particularly serious or violent crime, or the judge believes that they are a danger to the community, might flee to avoid trial, or will likely obstruct justice by tampering with witnesses or destroying evidence, bail may be denied.

If a suspect violates the court's conditions of release (e.g., obeying all laws, staying away from a specific individual), bail may be revoked and the accused returned to jail.

Bail can be paid in cash, check, or property for the full bail amount, or by bail bond, which is like a personal loan, with an up-front, nonrefundable payment of roughly 10 percent of the bail amount paid to the bail bondsman. If the accused makes all their scheduled court appearances, they get their bail money/property/ bail-bond money back, minus a few small administrative costs.

If you have been accused of a criminal offense, contact the Law Office of William J. Luse for a free consultation.


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