If your friend or loved one has been charged with a crime and is in jail you will want to learn how to get them out. The first thing to find out is what the charges are. After an arrest there will usually be a first hearing, also called an arraignment or first appearance. The first appearance serves two purposes. First, the judge will review the alleged crime and evidence in the case and will determine the exact charges. Second, the judge will set bail.


The determination of the amount of bail or even whether bail will be set at all depends on many factors. In some cases, the laws dictate a range of options for bail. The final decision will be made by the judge in the case. It is important to have legal representation at the first hearing. Your attorney will review the case and many times may be able to get the charges lowered and the bail reduced or even eliminated. Some of the factors that are used to determine bail include:

  • Seriousness of the crime
  • Criminal background of the accused
  • Whether there is a risk to the public
  • Whether the accused is a flight risk


Your attorney will fight to defend your right to be free on bail while awaiting trial. The amount of bail will be set by the judge. If your lawyer is present he will offer reasons why the bail should be lowered or even eliminated. In some cases, other types of restrictions will be placed on the accused in lieu of bail. For example, the accused may be required to stay at home and may be required to wear an ankle monitor.

Bail Bond

Bail is the amount of money that is set for the release of an accused criminal. The bail is used as a way to make sure that the person will return for trial. Bail, or a portion of it, will be returned once the trial is over and the person has, indeed, returned to court. If you are unable to make bail you may be able to get help from a bail bondsman. This is a service that is available to provide a loan that allows you to get your loved one out of jail. Often you will need to supply a portion of the bail amount – usually 10% – and the rest will be essentially borrowed through the bondsman. You will need to repay the bond based on the contract you have with the bail bondsman, which is independent of the court system.

Seeking an Attorney

It is always best to get assistance from an experienced criminal attorney. The lawyer will work with you to determine the best way to help get your loved one out of jail. Additionally, your lawyer will review every aspect of your situation and represent and defend you in court. If you have any questions along the way your attorney will be available to answer them for you. If bail has already been set don’t worry. Your lawyer will be able to request another hearing to review the situation. The attorney will defend your rights and help you resolve the case in the best possible way.