So you’ve been arrested and placed in jail. This can be an incredibly stressful experience especially when the context surrounding the circumstances is taken into consideration. So now you may be asking yourself – how exactly do you get out of prison?
Generally speaking, this is done through the use of a jail bond, otherwise known as a prison bond. Basically, you are posting a “bail” amount whether that is through cash or a piece of property with an inherent cash value.
This is used as collateral in return for a promise to show up in court on your scheduled date. By doing so, you will get your bail money back. If you don’t, the court may issue an arrest warrant to put you back in jail. But what exactly is this process of setting bail, and how do you get out of this predicament to begin with?
How Bail is Set
Once you have been arrested, chances are you will want to know your bail amount right away. This can be a difficult process if you are not able to see a judge immediately, especially over the weekend. This can mean winding up in jail for a few days while things are sorted out.
However, for the most part, you’ll be expected to pay a certain fixed amount for more common crimes which typically isn’t an exuberant amount. The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that you cannot be held with an excessive bail amount.
This avoids the bail from being used as punishment or a bargaining chip for your freedom. As we mentioned above, this establishes that the bail is used to guarantee you will return to court when you’re ordered to do so. Depending on the crime committed, the bail amount must be reasonable enough to achieve that purpose. This may not always be the case, so you may be involved in a special hearing where you can request the bail amount be lowered due to your financial situation.
How to Post Bail
When you go to post bail, there are a few different ways to accomplish this. This includes: using a bondsman; posting cash for the full amount of the bond directly; using property (like a home or lot) with the court, or the judge can decide to let you go on O.R. (Own Recognizance).
That last option plays into the aforementioned special hearing where you may request a lowered bail amount. You may also have an opportunity to be released on O.R., which you should take. Typically, this only happens based on how integrated you are into the community. This includes having close family members who live there, residing there for a number of years, or having a small or nonexistent criminal history.
As we talked about, dealing with jail time can be incredibly taxing. When situations like this happen to you, it can be debilitating – especially if it means spending time away from your loved ones and your friends. When you’re facing jail time and need to post bond, you should strongly consider reaching out to a professional bondsman to guide you through the entire process.
Do you have any questions or thoughts regarding the jail bond process? Be sure to them in the comments section below!