Can I Be Released On Bond Or Bailed Out Of Jail?
If you were required to stay in jail after your arrest, you will be scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge for a bail bond hearing. You may be required to post an "appearance bond for pretrial release" or you may be released "on your own recognizance."
The Eighth Amendment requires that if a bond is required to secure your return to court, that the amount not be excessive. The bail amount should reflect what is required to ensure that you return to court, not as a punishment. That said, many people require the assistance of a bail company or bail bondsman to meet bail requirements.
Posting Bond To Get Out Of Jail After An Arrest
Once your bond amount is set, you can:
- Pay the amount in cash
- Put up a piece of property as security on the bond
- Employ a bail bondsman to secure your release
A bail bonding company will, for a percentage of the bond amount, assume the responsibility of paying to the court the amount set by the magistrate to get you out of jail. The bonding company is assuring the court that you will appear at a later date; if you do not show up, the bail bond company can come after you for the full amount of your bond, like Dog the Bounty Hunter.
Posting bond may not be the right choice for everyone. There is a cost associated with using a bail bond company to secure your release; in some instances it may be better to remain in jail and use the funds to hire a criminal defense lawyer. A lawyer on your side may be able to request a reduction in your bail amount or otherwise secure your release from jail.
Conditions On Bonding Out Of Jail
In addition to determining a bond amount, the magistrate will set any conditions for your release as part of the bail hearing process. These may include:
- An order to obey all laws
- An order to stay away from a person or place (common in domestic violence arrests)
- A limitation on travel
- A requirement to get or keep a job
- An order to check in periodically with law enforcement
- A referral for drug, alcohol, psychiatric or other medical testing
- Other conditions or restrictions
If you violate a condition of bail, your bail bond may be revoked and you will have to return to jail. If you fail to appear for a scheduled court date, your bail may be revoked and a bench warrant issued for your arrest.
North Carolina vs. M.W.
Charge: Charge: Robbery with A Dangerous Weapon (4 Counts), First Degree Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with A Dangerous Weapon
Facing: 12 - 17 years in prison
An incarcerated defendant accused our client of participating in the robbery of a group of youth at a party. We were able to raise doubt as to the credibility of this individual. In the end, the prosecutor dismissed these charges, citing a lack of evidence.