How Does Bail Work?

When a loved one is arrested by the police and booked into jail, you want to get them out as quickly as possible. In Florida state court there is generally a set bond for a particular charge which is set upon arrest. That bond amount can be changed based on a number of factors when the individual makes a first appearance, generally the next day, before a judge. Understanding what bail is and how it works will allow you to make the best choices for yourself and your loved one.  The federal system works a little differently but the general tenets of the right to due process and the right to bail also apply. We are available and are very experienced whether the charges are in state or federal court.

What Is Bail?

When a judge sets bail, they are essentially saying that a set amount of money or other conditions will allow the individual to be released from custody until the case is resolved. If the individual complies with all conditions of release including showing up in court, then the money will be refunded. If they fail to show up, however, the court will keep the money. In simple terms, bail is a way the court ensures that criminal defendants will show up for their hearings.  

How Is Bail Set?

The judge will set bail based on a number of factors including the crime in question which relates to the individual’s perceived danger to the community, an individual’s ties to the community, criminal history, and much more. If the court believes that there is no danger to the community or risk of flight, the bail will be modest or even have the defendant released on her own recognizance, meaning no money need be posted.  On the other hand, if the court believes there is a flight risk or danger to the community, the bail may be set quite high, or even denied entirely.

Coming Up with the Money

Often, bail is  set at an amount that is more than the average person has available.  In order to post bail, many people utilize a bail bond company. The bondsman who is backed by an insurance company will post a bond and in Florida state court charges a premium of 10%. If a defendant skips bail (doesn’t show up for court), the bail bond company will often track him down and surrender him to the court so that the bondsman is not obligated to pay the court the amount of the bond pledged. 

In most situations, the bail bond company will require that you put up some type of collateral as well. This can be a deed to a house, the title to a vehicle, jewelry, cash, or any number of other things. These companies are very good at helping people find assets that can be used, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them for assistance.

Always Show Up for Court

If you or a loved one is out on bail, it is absolutely essential that you show up for court on the date and time required. If you don’t, you may be tracked down by bounty hunters on behalf of the bail bond company. They may continue looking for you for years to come, and once you are caught, the prosecutor may also prosecute the defendant for bond jumping, a separate substantive offense.

Here for You Every Step of the Way

Dealing with criminal charges is never something someone wants to do, but if you find yourself in this situation, we can help. We can send someone to represent your loved one during the initial bail hearing, which can help to keep the amount required for bail to a minimum. From there, we will craft the best possible defense in light of the facts and the law. Please contact us today.

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Weisberg Kainen Mark, PL

As experienced trial lawyers with a passion for justice, our firm provides clients with compelling advocacy, attorney availability, and creative solutions to your tax or criminal law matters.

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