This is a description of how bail is set and the options you have regarding bail. This is not an exhaustive discussion of all possibilities surrounding the issue of bail.
The primary function of bail is to assure that you appear in Court when you are ordered to appear.
When you are arrested the police will set bail in your case. The determination of the amount of bail is dependent on the severity of the charges, the number of charges, and/or potentially input from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Once bail has been set you will have the opportunity to post that bail and be released from custody. Upon your release the police will provide you with a court date. You must appear on that date. Failure to appear will result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest and in the forfeiture of your bail.
There are few different methods of posting bail. The two most common methods are cash bail and a bail bond:
- Cash bail is exactly what it sounds like. You or someone on your behalf posts cash in the amount of your bail. You will be released. The cash bail will be returned to the person that posted the bail if you attend all of your court dates. Failure to attend your court dates could result in the loss of that cash.
- Bail Bond. You or someone on your behalf would need to contact a bail bond company. This company can be contracted to post the bail on your behalf. The fee for this bond is up to 15% of the amount of the bond. That fee is the cost of posting the bond and will not be returned to you. Failure to appear will result in the forfeiture of the bond. That forfeiture may have financial consequences. You should discuss all of these matters with the bail bond company.
You will be brought before a judge if you are unable to post bail. The judge: (1) may release you without bail, but impose conditions of your release; (2) may increase your bail; (3) decrease your bail; (4) keep bail in the same amount. If you are unable to post bail you will be held in jail until the resolution of your case or until further order of the court.