The Basics of Bail
Put simply, bail is the sum of money that is exchanged for the release of someone who was arrested. If you have been arrested for a crime, a judge will either set or deny you bail. When the bail amount is paid, the exchange is used to guarantee that the arrested individual will appear for trial at the scheduled date of their criminal trial. If you have been arrested for a crime and have been denied bail by a judge, you will have to remain in jail until the day of your scheduled trial.
If a bail amount is set for you, there are two ways in which you may be bailed out of jail. These options are: posting cash bail at the jail or contacting a licensed bail agent to post a bail bond on your behalf.
Posting Cash Bail
After a judge has set a bail amount, you or your family or friends can pay the bail amount in full in order to be released. Remember that bail is used as a guarantee that you will be present at your scheduled criminal trial. You are released under the condition that you will not attempt to evade your trail. The total amount of bail money will be held until your trial has been resolved. Only when the trial is deemed complete by a judge will the full bail amount be returned to whoever initially posted the bail.
If you choose not to appear at your scheduled court date, the total amount of bail will not be returned. Instead, the full bail amount will be forfeited to the court and a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
Contacting a Licensed Bail Agent
If you have been arrested for a crime and can not afford to pay the bail amount, you also have the option to contact a licensed bail agent. Bail agents will post the bail amount on your behalf and collect collateral and premium in order to ensure that you will appear in court on the date of your trial. Premium is commonly 10% of the bail total and collateral takes the form of cars, real estate, cash, or even signatures. These possessions will be held by the agent until you complete all of the required court dates and your case is resolved.
If you fail to appear at any of your required court dates, the bail agent will send out a bounty hunter to locate you and return you to court to face your trial. It is always in your best interest to comply with the agreement discussed by you and your bail agent. Avoiding court dates will only hurt your defense.
A Lawyer Can Help
Facing criminal charges can be a very stressful situation. If convicted, the criminal charges that would be placed on your record could have a damaging effect on your reputation, family life, and any future career goals. To reduce the anxiety and stress of the situation, allow a skilled attorney to organize an effective case for your defense. Turn to the experienced San Jose criminal defense attorneys at the law office of Daniel Jensen to help you through this difficult time. A knowledgeable attorney will ensure that you receive the fair trial that you deserve. Contact the San Jose criminal defense lawyers of the Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. at (408) 296-4100 to discuss the best approach for your defense.