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Understanding the bail and bond system for criminal cases

A criminal case is difficult to deal with because there are so many unknowns. One thing that matters greatly to people who are facing criminal charges is getting out of jail until their court case.

Many defendants are able to get out of jail by posting bail. This is a monetary amount set by the court as an assurance that the person will return for future hearings and proceedings. Here are some points to know about bail.

Many factors can impact bail

In some cases, bail is set based on a predetermined system, which means that a specific criminal charge will have a determined amount for bail. Other times, the judge will set the bail according to a variety of factors. These include the severity of the charge, ties the person has to the local community and the criminal history of the defendant. It is important that the court doesn't issue bails that are considered excessive because this is forbidden by the United States Constitution.

Own recognizance release

Sometimes, the court finds that individuals don't need to put up monetary assurance saying that they will return to court. In these cases, the court might order the individuals to be released on their own recognizance. In these cases, they will need to sign documents acknowledging that they will show up to court dates. You can have a warrant issued for your arrest if you don't show up in court.

Posting bail through cash or assets

You can post bail by giving cash or assets to the appropriate office. If you show up for all of your court dates as ordered, you will get your money and assets back when your case is resolved. If you don't show up, you can be arrested for failure to appear. You might not be given a low bail, or any bail at all, to get out of jail if this occurs.

Bail may need to be posted through a bondsman

It isn't always possible for people to come up with money or property to make bail. In these cases, they can work with a bail bondsmen to get released. These individuals require a certain percentage of the bail to be paid to them in exchange for working with the court to get you out of jail. When you use a bail bondsman, you won't get what you spend back if you do show up in court. If you don't appear, the bondsman will come looking for you, much like what you've likely seen about bounty hunters on TV.

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