21 Oct How Bail Really Works
Most people’s understanding of how bail works in real life is what they watch on television, which is a very condensed version. Most people don’t read too much into the specifics and what is not shown on television because it’s not relevant to their life. They don’t need to know about bail because they will never be dropped into that situation. Well, no one who has dealt with bail ever expected they would need to. It might be helpful to know a little bit more of the details.
- A person’s bail will depend on the crime committed, any criminal history, and their ties to the community.
- Only the judge can decide the bail amount, which is based on the bail schedule. Only the judge can lower a bail amount (though unlikely).
- A person can pay 100% of the bail to the court directly. He or she must pay the entire bail before release. This money can be refunded at the close of trial.
- A person can hire a bail agent to help post bail with a bail. The only money the person pays is the fee for the bail agency – 10-15% of the bail amount. This is not refundable. This fee can be paid in increments and does not need to be fully paid off before the person can be released.
- Whichever method a defendant is released on, he or she must appear in court whenever ordered, and adhere to any and all additional release terms and conditions. Failure to do so will result in his or her re-arrest and bail no longer becomes an option.
Those are the basics of bail that aren’t shown on television but are important to know. Of course, there are still more specifics that apply to bail and bail bonds that will vary according to each personal case.