If you have a loved one who is in jail, you may be wondering about bail. If you have never been in this situation before, you likely have many questions about it. Here are some frequently asked questions about bail.
What is Bail?
Bail allows a person convicted of a crime to get out of jail while awaiting trial. This allows them to work and properly defend themselves. There are a few instances where a person may not be entitled to bail, such as being suspected of being a flight risk or being charged with a serious and violent crime. But most people are given a bail amount.
How Do You Get Bail?
Many crimes have a standard bail amount based on the county and state a person is charged with a crime in. For example, a first time simple assault case may have a $10,000 bail. If the person charged with the crime thinks the bail is too much, or there is not a standard bail amount assigned to the case, such as murder, a bail hearing will be held and a judge will determine how much bail will be set at.
Once a bail amount is set, you may post bail on behalf of your loved one. You can use a bail bonds company who charges 10 to 15 percent of the bail amount or you can post the entire bail amount with the courthouse yourself. If you post bail yourself, you get all of the money back at the end of the trial. If you use a bail bonds company, you pay the 10 to 15 percent to the company in exchange for them posting the money for your loved one.
Does Getting Bail Show Up on Your Record?
As soon as someone is charged with a crime, it will show up on their record. If an employer or landlord does a background check, they will be able to see that charges are pending against a person. However, in most states, they will not be able to see that an individual is out on bail. However, should a police officer have to run a person’s name for any reason, they will see that the individual is out on bail.
When Does Bail End?
There are three instances when bail ends. If the person charged with a crime does not obey all laws or rules that they were ordered to follow when bailed out of jail, they can be rearrested and bail will end.
Another reason why bail may end is because bail was revoked by the person who posted it. If you post bond on behalf of a loved one, and you feel that your loved one may be trying to run or not doing what they need to do, you can revoke their bond and have them rearrested.
The last reason bail ends is because the case has ended. If a person is found not guilty, their bond is released to the person who posted it. If they are found guilty, bond money is released when they show up and are sentenced for their crime.