When Can You Post Bail?
If you have been arrested, there is the possibility that you can be released from custody on bail. This does not mean that the case has been dismissed and you have no charges pending. Bail is a type of guarantee that you will return to court when your case is being decided. You or a friend or family member pay money to the court directly or hire a bail bondsman to pay for you. The bail money, minus any administrative fees, fines, or the cost of the bond, will be returned to you once you have attended all court hearing regarding the situation. Here are the different times after you have been arrested when the bail can be posted.
Immediately After Booking
In minor cases, such as failure to pay a traffic ticket, the bail has a set schedule and you can pay the bail to be released once the booking process has been completed. You may contact a bail bond company for bail bond posting if you do not have the cash available. However, you will have to have a debit or credit card number ready to give the bondsman to pay the fees. You can also have a friend or family member pay the bail or go to the bond company to make arrangements to be bailed out.
Sometimes, the amount of bail needs to be determined by a judge. You may have to wait overnight or even a few days to go before the judge. Once the court has heard the charges and how you plead, they will decide whether bail is appropriate and how much it needs to be. The amount is set by the severity of the crime, your assets, whether or not you have any family or community ties to the city, and whether they feel you will attempt to leave and run from the charges or not. Once the amount has been determined, you can post bail at any point until you are found guilty and sentenced.
In most cases, once you have been sentenced, your freedom is over. Generally, the bailiff will take you right from the courtroom to prison. However, it is possible that your attorney can file an appeal and ask for bail during the appeal process. While it is not always granted, it can happen. However, be prepared for a larger bail amount and to need to pay the bondsman more than is normal.
The most important thing to remember about bail is that you must go to court when you are supposed to go. If you don't, anyone who put money towards the bail will not get the money back. When a bondsman is involved, they will send out a bond apprehension agent to find you and bring you back. It is not worth it; just show up when told, and everything will work out more easily.