When you get arrested, your entire life doesn’t have to be put on hold as you can post bail. Once you get out of jail and get back to a normal life, you can prepare your defense and continue working. Because bond amounts vary depending on where you live and the crime you committed, you may have a lot of questions about this process. Here are answers to some of them.
How Do You Prepare After the Arrest?
Once the jail cell closes, your mind may be racing because you may have never been there before. So how do you address this situation? The best thing you can do is prepare for your defense. Don’t talk to any police officers because they probably have their mind made up about your situation and are just looking for a confession.
Rather, you should consult with an attorney to see what legal options you have. It may be able to plead guilty, settle out of court, or take a plea bargain where you have to serve community service hours and pay a fine. You shouldn’t fight this process or make a scene while in jail either, as this could affect your bail amount.
There are four common bail types you can use: property bond, deposit bond, surety bond, and a full cash bond. Surety bonds are among the most common and they usually require you to pay 10% of the bail amount plus collateral if required.
How do You Post Bail?
If you have never been arrested before, you may not know how posting bail works. Fortunately, it’s not that complicated. You need to contact a licensed and trustworthy bail bondsman, who charges a fee in exchange for standing as surety for the bail. If your family doesn’t have a lot of money on hand, it’s best to find a bondsman that doesn’t charge interest and always has the same rate. This protects you financially.
Hiring a bail bondsman gives you access to a professional who knows the legal system. They know how long this process takes and can provide valuable information that keeps this process moving. They also save you a lot of money because you are just required to pay a portion of the bond. If you don’t have this kind of money, some bondsmen are willing to accept possessions like jewelry as collateral. They may also accept credit cards, vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, and stocks.
Can You Travel While on Bail?
If you decide to post bail, you may be thinking about traveling to clear your head after such as stressful situation. Traveling to a nearby city may not be as much of a problem, compared to traveling to a different state or country. This can be a problem depending on the severity of the crime you are accused of. The judge may deem you a flight risk, for example, and prevent you from going anywhere. In this case, you’ll have to stay put.
There are also several obligations you have to honor while on bail, such as appearing in court on a specific day. You may not know when this date is just yet, so traveling would not be advisable until you find out more information about your case. Only travel once your case is fully settled.
What Happens if You Are Rearrested?
Just because you are out on bail, doesn’t mean you can do anything you like. If you are arrested for another crime, your bond may be cancelled. The judge can also raise your bail, which is often the case when you commit a more serious crime than the one you have already posted bail for.
Getting arrested is always a nerve-wracking experience, but you have plenty of resources to help you get out of jail and on with your life. Just make sure you are prepared so this process doesn’t drag out and cost you a lot of money.
You’ve Just Been Arrested. Now What?, thefreethoughtproject.com
Pretrial Release of Felony Defendants in State Courts, bjs.gov