A person who is facing criminal charges will likely want to be released from jail while the case moves through the court system. This poses a problem for the court because some defendants might not return for hearings and other processes. Still, it isn't legal in many cases to require the person to remain in jail without the option of release pending the outcome of the criminal case since the person hasn't yet been convicted of the crime.
The court has to decide on whether the person is eligible for bail or not. The process to set bail can be complex in some cases. The type of charge, the person's criminal history, their ties to the community and their flight risk are all points that the court might review. Once this is done, the conditions of release, which can include a bail, are set.
Three ways out of jail
There are three ways that you can get out of jail while your case is pending. You can pay for the full amount of the bail set by the court. You can work with a bail bondsman to be released by paying for a bail bond. You can be released on your own recognizance. Here are the differences in these three:
- If you pay for the full bail amount on your own, you are able to get back the money or assets that you put up when your case is resolved.
- If you pay a bail bondsman to secure your release, you won't get your money back since it is kept as a fee for securing your release.
- You don't put money up prior to your release if you are let out on your own recognizance.
Conditions of release
When the court sets bail or releases you on your own recognizance, you will be subjected to specific conditions. This could include checking in with the court system periodically, having to use a GPS monitoring device and making sure that you return for your future court appearances. In addition to any court stipulated conditions, a bail bondsman might add more to the list as a condition of writing the bond for you.
It is imperative that you comply with all applicable restrictions and conditions. If you don't, your bail might be revoked. This can mean that you will have to return to jail and remain there for the duration of the court case.
When a bail bondsman sets the conditions, he or she has the right to pull your bond if you don't comply. You could be forced back to jail until your case is finalized or until you can find and pay for a new bail bondsman to secure your release.