If you were to be arrested, would you know what your rights to bail were? You’re not alone. Many people don’t know how or if they would be entitled to bail if they were to be arrested, guilty or not guilty. Many people who spend the night in jail may not have committed a crime, but because they didn’t know their bail rights, have been forced to spend the night in a cell unnecessarily, but that could, something that could be avoided with the right knowledge.
What happens after you’ve been arrested?
Being arrested, especially for the first time, can be a scary and frightening experience, and the last thing you’ll want to do is spend the night in jail, and so you’ll need to post bail. Usually, you’ll be able to see a judge quickly, who’ll be able to set your bail, but if you get arrested late at night, you may have to wait until morning. For those who get arrested on a Friday night, you might have to wait until Monday to see a judge. If yours is a common crime, like shoplifting or a motoring offence, the jail may already have a set bail amount in place. There is a lot of criticism about the bail system in the US, with claims that it’s the poorest in society who suffer the most due to not being able to afford their bail.
How much bail are you expected to pay?
How much you will have to pay for your bail depends on the crime committed. Minor offences will require a lower amount than more serious crimes such as assault or drug offences but the amount can vary on a case-by-case business. Familiarizing yourself with typical bail costs by state can help you workout what you could be expected to pay in to avoid a night in a cell.
What if you can’t afford to pay
If you can’t afford to pay your bail, you will need to wait for a hearing with a judge who will assess your finances and may lower your bail to help you get out of jail. However, if the judge decides otherwise and you are faced with a large bail amount to pay that you can’t afford, you may wish to consider a bail bond from All City bail bonds for assistance. To get a bail bond, you’ll need to put a down payment of around 5-10% of the bail amount, which may make it more feasible for you or your family to post your bail.
Getting your bail back
If you attend court, and the judge is satisfied that you meet the stated requirements, your full bail amount should be returned to you. If charges are dropped, then you won’t need to do anything further, which will be a huge relief to you and your loved ones. If it is decided that you’ll need to enter a plea in court, you’ll need a lawyer on your side to help you with the next steps.
An arrest could be the first time you need to hire a lawyer, and you can benefit from information about finding the right lawyer to help you if the time ever comes. Knowing your rights and what to do when it comes to bail will be crucial for helping you avoid spending time in jail, no matter what the circumstances around your arrest.