How Bail Works

When someone is arrested on a bailable offense and bail is set, the defendant can forfeit his/her right to see a judge within 72 hours of arrest (weekends and holidays excluded) and bail out.

This is done most commonly using one of two methods:

The defendant or someone other than the defendant will post cash bail at the jail.
This dollar amount is 100% of the set bail for the defendant’s offense.
If the set bail is $5000, then $5000 cash will need to be posted.
When the defendant has fulfilled all of his/her obligations by appearing in court on all matters until the case is resolved the cash posted for his/her release will then be returned to the party who posted it.
If neither the defendant nor any family members or friends have access to the entire bail amount. They can call a Licensed Bail Agent and arrange to post a Bail Bond.
To post a Bail Bond, typically you would need two things, PREMIUM & COLLATERAL.
Premium is 10% of the set bail, (Bail equals $5000, premium would be $500), and is considered earned once the defendant is released on said bond and at that time is nonrefundable.
Collateral is something for the Bail Agent to hold until the defendant has finished all required appearances with the court, at which time it would be returned.
Collateral is usually one of four things, CASH, CARS, REAL ESTATE, and in some cases SIGNATURES of someone who qualifies to be financially responsible to secure the bond.

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The Legal Process

The defendant is charged with a crime by the arresting agency.
The District Attorney reviews the case and makes a decision whether or not to file charges.

If the District Attorney does not file charges, the case is dismissed.

If however, the District Attorney does file charges, there will be an arraignment where the defendant would plead either innocent or guilty.

If the defendant pleads guilty he/she would be sentenced and the case would be closed, if defendant pleads innocent then a court date would be set.

The court would then hear the case, reach a verdict, and the case would be closed

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