Once you have been arrested, there are two options for what will happen to you. You will either receive a citation requiring you to pay a fine or show up to court, or you will go to jail. If jail time is your consequence, you may want to know what to expect. Here’s what you need to know about the stages of bail for a criminal case, and how you can get help.
Tickets for Minor Crimes
Getting arrested does not automatically mean jail time. For minor offenses such as traffic violations and misdemeanor drug possession (in some states), the person will receive a ticket or citation. This ticket will state their offense, and set a date that they must go to court. Sometimes, these tickets are issued with a fine that must be paid before the court date, replacing the need to show up for court at all. As long as the fine is paid on time, you’re off the hook.
The Amount of Bail
After an arrest, if you do have to spend time in jail, the first thing you will want to do is find out how much your bail is and pay it. You can wither pay it yourself or contact a friend or relative to post bail for you. Lesser crimes will normally have a standard amount that you may be able to afford. This process can take as little as a few hours. However, more serious crimes will have a higher bail amount.
In some cases, the judge will be the one to set your bail amount. If you committed a violent crime or felony, or if this is a multiple arrest/offense, you may need to remain in jail until the next available court date if you cannot afford the amount.
The bail amount will never be so extreme and beyond your means to punish you and keep you behind bars. You may need to use your home as collateral if you cannot afford the bail amount, which is why contacting a bail bond service will help you get the best advice for your particular situation.
Purchasing a Bail Bond
If you do not have the cash upfront to pay for bail, you may need to contact a bail bondsman to purchase a bond. They will post bail on your behalf, in exchange for a fee. You may need to put up your home or certain valuables as collateral to convince the bondsman that you will abide by your pretrial conditions, bail bond agreement, and show up to court on your scheduled date.
When you post bail with a bail bondsman, you will not get your fee back, and you may not get all of your bail money back either. However, it will guarantee that you get out of jail soon so you can spend your pretrial time at home.
Released on Own Recognizance
If you have been arrested, the best resolution you can have is to be released on your own recognizance. This means, you won’t need to pay bail at all, but you will need to sign a statement that promises you will return to court on your scheduled trial date. This type of release is only available to those who have strong community ties, a good reputation, and if you have had no previous criminal history (or only minor violations). In other words, own recognizance releases are reserved for people who seem trustworthy and unlikely to fail to appear.
Failure to Appear
If you fail to show up to court on your trial date, you will have to face the consequences. On that date, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. Wherever you are, the authorities will be looking for you, and once you are re-arrested, you may not be able to get bail a second time. Especially in cases where it appears you have tried to get away, such as leaving the state, a federal warrant can be issued.
If a loved one posted bail for you originally, they will never get that money back. If you used the services of a bail bondsman, they can send a bounty hunter after you to capture you. If you were fortunate to be released on your own recognizance, after you are captured, you will be held without bail until your trial.
Whatever agreement you make with the court, ensure that you show up to your court date. If you believe there is any possibility that you won’t be able to make your court date, speak to the court ahead of time and ask to reschedule the trial date. It is better than risking missing your court date and facing any of the above consequences.
How PCS Bail Bonds Can Help You
If you or someone you know has been arrested, it is important to understand what the post-arrest process is like. Chances are you won’t want to spend time in jail, so knowing about your right to get bail can give you peace of mind. When you’re ready to use the benefits of a bail bond service, PCS Bail Bonds can help.
We provide 24-hour bail bonds for all kinds of charges, and we can help you get collateral if you cannot afford your bond. We offer 10% lower bond fees than our competitors, and our experienced agents can help you obtain a bond in a fraction of the time. Affording bail is crucial, which is why we strive to make the process more cost-effective for our clients.
We have professional memberships in several renowned associations including the Professional Bondsmen of Texas, Professional Bondsmen of Tarrant County, and Tarrant County Bar Association. We can help you if you live in Fort Worth, Texas, and other municipalities in Tarrant County. We will process your request quickly and efficiently. Our bond agents are always on call and we can be down to the jail in under 30 minutes.
Contact us now by phone at 817-335-1655, at our e-mail, visit in-person, or fill out our bail bond request form. You can be confident that you’re working with experts who are dedicated to helping you.