Once you are arrested and booked, you will face a judge for your arraignment in the next 24 to 48 hours. This is the period of time that the district attorney has to file charges against you. If no charges are filed, your attorney can file a writ of habeas corpus and have you released. Chances are, this will not happen. You will appear before a judge, the charges will be read, and assuming you plead not guilty, there will then be the issue of bail. The following are a few things you need to know at this point.
1. Your attorney can ask for no bail
Under certain circumstances, it may be possible to be released without posting bail. Whether this is possible or not will depend upon several factors. The charges against you, your criminal record, your employment, and family ties in the community, to name only a few. All of these factors relate to the chances of the defendant showing up for his or her court date. You can ask your attorney about being released without bail, or as it is often called, released on your own recognizance.
2. If the bail amount is high, it can be reduced
Your attorney will have to argue this to the judge on your behalf. After speaking to your attorney, he or she will have an idea of what the bail will be based upon your circumstances. If the projected bail amount is too high, you can let your attorney know this, and it may be possible to have it reduced.
3. Once the bail is set, you need to post it to the court
If the bail is cash or bond, you can post the entire amount yourself. After the court proceedings are over, regardless of the outcome, you will get your money back. In most cases, the amount will be too high, so you can use the services of a bail bonding company. The rule of thumb is that you will pay 10% of the bail to the bondsman. This is a non-refundable fee.
4. Someone will need collateral for the bond
The bail bonding company will be on the hook for the bail amount if you don't show up for court. For this reason, they want collateral for the bond. It may be possible to guarantee the bail yourself. This may be possible if you have significant assets and a low flight risk, but for most people, a bondsman wants a relative or friend. Not only is their collateral, but the belief is that a person becomes less of a flight risk when a loved has cosigned for the bond.
Being arrested can be scary, especially if it's your first time, but the bail process is fairly routine, and often, you can be back at home in a day or two. For more information, contact a company like Richard Cloud Bail Bonding.Share