How the Bail Process Works and Getting Out of Jail After an Arrest


If you are ever arrested and want to spend the least amount of time possible in jail, the best possible thing to do is to post bail. Bail is generally an amount of money or a piece of property that is given to a court in order to promise that you will return there on your court date.


How Much Will the Bail Be

As soon as you get to jail, bail will probably be one of the first things on your mind. You will want to know how much it is and who to give it to so that you can leave jail as quickly as possible. Some offenses require a bail hearing, this will cause a lengthy stay in jail as judges only work during standard business hours and can not see you until they come in for the day. Fortunately, in a great majority of cases, there will be a chart for the bail amount of common offenses and there will be no need to see a judge.


Posting Bail

Once the bail is set, you can either pay the amount in cash, use an equivalent amount of property equal to your bail amount as collateral, enroll the services of a bail bondsman, or be released on your own recognizance. Of all of those options being released on your own recognizance is the most desirable, but is not always an available option and is often at the discretion of a judge. If you do not have the money or property equivalent to the bail amount then your best bet is to obtain a bond. A bond is basically a promise to pay your bail if you do not show up. Usually 10% of the bail amount is required up front in order to obtain a bond.