After a police officer placed you under arrest, your main thoughts may have related to getting out of jail as soon as possible. The amount of time this takes -- if it happens at all -- depends greatly on the circumstances of a specific situation. After all, bail differs from case to case.
When it comes to posting bail, you may want to remember that this option does not apply to every person. If a judge believes that you pose a threat to the community or believes that you will attempt to flee if released, it is likely that he or she will not allow bail. Still, other scenarios regarding bail could apply to your case.
If you do have the opportunity to obtain bail, the amount will differ than the amount set for other cases. The judge will consider multiple factors in determining the amount of bail believed suited to your specific situation. For instance, the judge will consider the following questions:
- Are you a flight risk?
- What is your past criminal history?
- Did the charges stem from a violent or malicious act?
- Would you pose a danger to the community?
- What evidence do authorities have against you?
Of course, these examples are only a few of the details a judge would need to consider before setting bail.
You may also want to remember that paying the funds necessary to post bail may not be the only condition that you need to meet in order to obtain release. Conditional bail means that the judge also requires that you meet additional stipulations for your release, such as undergoing drug or alcohol testing, checking in with a probation officer, or surrendering any firearms you possess.
Another condition of any bail release is that you agree to appear at a scheduled court date. If you post bail and fail to appear for your court date, you could face additional repercussions, like going back to jail, paying a fine or both. Like any criminal accusation, however, you have the ability to defend against the consequences of failing to appear, especially if you could not attend due to circumstances beyond your control.
Thinking past bail
Though posting bail may be at the forefront of your mind soon after your arrest, you may also want to think beyond that aspect. You still have a long road ahead of you when it comes to defending against the criminal charges you face, and you may want to ensure that you obtain reliable information regarding your legal options.