Bail is typically the cash or property that you hand over to a court of law after an arrest to secure your freedom, albeit temporarily. Posting this is a guarantee that you will make court appearances when ordered by the judge to do so. In the event that you fail to show up, the amount posted can be retained by the court before a warrant of arrest is issued against you.
This is mostly done by judges. In most cases, jails have customary schedules that stipulate maximum amounts, also known as bail bonds, for common criminal cases. This means that once you are arrested, you can avoid spending time in jail by paying the amount specified in the jail’s schedule. In case you want to post, but you cannot afford the entire amount stipulated in the schedule, you can appeal to the judge to lower the amount. Depending on the state that you are in and its procedures, your appeal will be heard and determined during a special hearing or during your arraignment.
According to Federal laws, bail shouldn’t be excessive because it is not a means through which courts raise money. In addition, it should not be used to punish crime suspects. It is primarily meant to allow arrested persons to stay out of jail until they are convicted of an alleged crime. In addition, it assures the court that a suspect will return to court whenever he/she is required to answer to charges.
If you are a bailed-out suspect there are a number of conditions that you must abide by. If you violate any of the conditions, the judge may choose to revoke it. He/she may even order your re-arrest and return to jail. Common conditions often include the requirement that suspects must abide by all federal and statutory laws. Other conditions may be a reflection of the crime for which you were arrested. If you were arrested for domestic violence for instance, you may be barred from contacting the alleged victim. This will be one of the conditions of your arrest.
Typically, bail takes different forms including a check or cash payment for the entire amount, property whose value matches the amount, or a bond. Nonetheless, the acceptable means of posting bail often varies from one state to another. Being able to post is advantageous in the sense that you will get a refund once your case is closed.