A criminal case moving through the court system can take time. For many people who are facing criminal charges, the thought of sitting in jail for months or longer isn’t something they want to do. In many cases, there are ways that a person might be released from jail pending the outcome of a criminal case.
After an arrest, a bail is set. This is usually done through a hearing; however, some criminal charges might come with an automatic bail that doesn’t require any hearing. More serious charges will usually require a bail hearing.
It is sometimes possible for a person to be released from jail without having to pay any bail amount. This is called being released on your own recognizance. In lieu of having to pay money, you would have to sign a document that states you will appear for all future court dates in the case or risk being arrested.
Another option that might be used is setting a bail that must be paid prior to release. Having to put up money or property is said to help ensure that you will come to all future court dates. If you can’t afford to pay the entire bail through cash or property, it might be possible to work with a bail bondsman. This person requires you to pay a portion of the bail upfront and then writes a bond for the remainder of the bail.
Regardless of how you place the bail amount to get out of jail, you risk having a warrant put out for your arrest if you don’t go to your court dates. If you use cash or property instead of a bondsman to post your bail, you could forfeit everything you put up if you don’t show up. If you use a bondsman, you aren’t going to have your money returned if you do show up to court because the money you give to the bondsman is considered a fee for the service of providing the bond.
Source: FindLaw, “Getting Out of Jail after You Have Been Arrested,” accessed Oct. 11, 2017