Understanding Bail

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If you are arrested for a crime, a judge will set or deny you bail. Bail is defined as the sum of money that is exchanged for the release of someone who was arrested. When bail is paid, the transaction is used to guarantee that the individual that was arrested will appear for trial at a later date. If you are denied bail by a judge, you will be required to stay in jail until the date of your criminal trial.There are two common ways that an arrested individual may be bailed out of jail. These are posting cash bail at the jail and contacting a licensed bail agent to post a bail bond on your behalf.Posting Cash BailThe amount of bail can be paid in full by the defendant or someone other than the defendant after the judge has set your bail. The defendant will then be released under the condition that they will return for trial. The bail money will be held until after the defendant returns to trial and the case is resolved. When the trial is complete, the bail money will be returned to whoever posted the bail initially.If the defendant does not return to court, the bail will not be returned and the full bail amount will be forfeited to the court. A warrant will also be issued for your arrest should you fail to appear at any of your required court appearances.Contacting a Licensed Bail AgentIf you, your family, or friends are unable to pay the full amount of bail, you have the option to contact a licensed bail agent. A bail agent will attain collateral and premium when bail is posted to ensure that the defendant will appear in court for their criminal trial. Premium is usually 10% of the bail amount and collateral can be cash, cars, real estate, or signatures that the bail agent will hold until the defendant completes all of the required trial appearances and the case is resolved.Be aware that failing to appear in all of your required court appearances may prompt a bail agent to send a bounty hunter to locate you and return you to face your trial. It is in your best interest to comply with the agreement initially discussed between you and your bail agent.How a Lawyer Can HelpIf you are facing criminal charges, you are probably feeling the stress and anxiety associated with the situation. If convicted, criminal charges could have a drastic negative effect on your reputation, family life, and future career opportunities. Partnering with a skilled attorney will significantly reduce the stress of the situation. Turn to an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you through this difficult time. An attorney will ensure that you receive the fair trial that you deserve.