shutterstock_128788898When a person is arrested for a crime and taken into custody, their first thought is typically how fast can they get out. Most people accomplish this by posting bail. If you have never dealt with the process of being or having someone released from custody, you may have some misconceptions about bail. Here is a brief overview.

What Is Bail?

Bail is a payment made to the court to not only secure a person’s release, but to ensure the court that the person will appear when ordered to do so. The bail may be in the form of cash, a bond or property. If the person fails to appear or follow a judge’s order, bail may be forfeited.

How Judges Set Bail

Only a judge can set a bail. If a person wants to pay their bail but cannot afford to do so, their lawyer may petition the judge to lower it. Most jurisdictions have set prices for common crimes. In other words, one person’s bail will be the same as another’s who has been charged with the same crime.

Protection from Excessive Bail

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that bail cannot be excessive. To many people, it is translated to mean that bail should be affordable. This is not necessarily the case. This Amendment was established so that the primary motive of setting bail could not be for the government to make money. It is also used so that a person who is arrested cannot be punished for the mere suspicion of having committed a crime.

Bail and Bond is Different

The words “bail” and “bond” are often used interchangeably but they are not the same thing. A bond is a way to pay a bail. In fact, a bond is typically 10 percent of the cost of bail and is paid through a bail bondsman. When a person cannot afford the cash price of their bail, they often turn to these professionals who will accept 10 percent of the amount plus additional fees. If the person fails to appear in court, the bondsman can seek the entire price of the bail.

No one wants to sit in jail for longer than they have to and a bail is provided so people can get back home. There are a variety of ways that bail can be paid, making getting out of jail a bit less complicated than one may think.

If you have been arrested in Orlando and need an attorney, reach out to our office today. A member of our team will help you schedule a free consultation at which time we will review the details of your case and advise you of your best options. Call today.