Have you been arrested in connection with a crime? The first thing you
want to do is get out of jail. In order to do so, you will likely have
to post bail. Bail is money or property given to the court that serves
as collateral for appearing in court. When bail is posted, the accused
agrees to pay the set money to walk free with the promise that they will
show up for their court appearance at the posted time.
How can I post bail?
In many cases, there are set amounts in courthouses that dictate the bail
for commonly committed crimes. In other instances, the judge is responsible
for setting the bail amount as they see fit. If the alleged crime is particularly
heinous or if the court believes that you pose a flight risk, the bail
amount may be higher than expected. If the bail amount is significantly
higher than you or your loved ones can afford, you may be able to ask
the judge to lower the bail amount, but there is no guarantee that they
will do so.
Payment of bail can take a few forms:
- Full amount in cash or personal check
- Full amount in property
- Guaranteed payment in the form of a bond
- Waiver of payment based on the promise the defendant will appear
The purpose of bail is to allow someone accused of a crime to remain free
during the duration of the trial, as they are presumed innocent until
proven guilty. The purpose of the payment to begin with is to ensure that
you show up in court. If the bail is paid in full, then it will be repaid
when the case is over. If the bail is paid and you do not show up in court,
you will have a warrant placed for your arrest and will likely lose the
In addition to simply providing the money for bail, you must also abide
by all of the conditions of your release. This may involve a general order
to obey all laws or be specific to the crime that was committed. Again,
this will be set as per the discretion of the judge depending on the crime
you are accused of, your criminal history, and your flight risk.