How to Get Released After You’ve Been Arrested
You have done something wrong and now you have found yourself in jail. You know that you messed up. You know that you have done something wrong and you really don’t want to be here. You are probably scared, especially if it’s your first time in jail, or you may be mad at yourself for being so dumb.
After you are arrested and you are placed in jail, only one thing is on your mind. You want to know how you can get out. This usually is done by posting something called bail, which means you or someone that you know pays cash. When you do this, you promise to go to court for your case. If you show up as promised, your bail is returned. If not, your bail will be kept by the court and there will probably be a warrant issued for your arrest.
When you’re arrested, you’re going to want to know the amount of your bail quickly. If you can’t see the judge immediately, chances are you will spend time in the jail. This is usually over the weekend. This is often a tactic that the police use if they arrest on a Friday, so that you’’ll be in there over the weekend since the judge will set your bail on Monday. But if you have done a crime that is more common, there are often charts that say what the standard amount of time in jail is so that it’s simpler for you to get out because there’s a set amount.
The Constitution’s Eighth Amendment says that there cannot be excessive bail for anyone. This means that bail can’t be used for the government to punish someone or for raising money. Therefore it means it’s only used to guarantee that the person is going to show up for their court dates. The amount of bail can’t be any more than is reasonable for accomplishing that purpose.
In spite of this, a judge often will use an amount that is excessively high for prohibiting people who are arrested from being able to get free from their jail cell. This kind of bail often is used for individuals that were arrested because they were suspected of murder, dealing drugs, or some other kinds of crimes where they’re afraid the person will flee from. A lot of people have argued that this high bail is in violation of the 8th Amendment, but most of them are unsuccessful.
There also are situations where there’s reasonable bail but its still beyond the person’s reach. When something like this happens, the person who is arrested has to wait and ask the judge if the amount can be lowered at a special hearing or their initial court appearance. Based on their financial situation, bail may be lowered so the person is able to be freed from jail.
Bail can be posted in a variety of ways, like:
· Paying by check or cash.
· Signing over the rights to a piece of property
· Providing a bond (a guarantee that you’ll pay if you do not appear) that is the complete amount of the bail
· Signing a statement saying you’ll come to court as required (own recognizance)
When you’re offered to be released on own recognizance, this is the option that’s best to take. But a lot of people have to buy bail bonds so they are able to get out of jail. The amount you pay for a bond is approximately 10% of its value. If you have a bail of $10,000 you’ll pay $1,000.
If you can avoid buying one, it’s best not to. If you go to the court date and meet your requirements, usually you will get all of your bail back minus a few administrative fees that the court has. But if you’re purchasing a bond, you’re already out some money and it usually isn’t refundable and you also usually will have to give the bondsman a form of collateral. This is something like an interest in your home or car. If you don’t go to court at your required time, your bondsman will cash on your collateral and they can sell the property and take that money from their sale.
Being Released on Own Recognizance
If you’re able to be released on own recognizance, take it. In order to have this option, you might have to ask for one at the first appearance before the judge. If they don’t allow it, it’s always possible to request a bail amount that’s lower.
There are a few factors that will determine whether or not a judge will grant you being released on own recognizance. A lot of them are due to the community where you were arrested. These are factors like:
· Do you have family members who live in that community?
· Do you live in or did you grow up in that community for a certain length of time?
· Do you work in that community?
· Do you have a criminal history?
· If you have a criminal history, is it just misdemeanors and small crimes?
· Do you have a track record that is good of showing up in court when you were required to?
Hopefully you never have to worry about going to jail and making the choice about whether you should get a bail bondsman or try to get out on own recognizance. But if you do, now you know what you should expect. It’s important to remember that you should keep your temper when you are in your cell. Getting angry isn’t going to help you or make things any better. In fact, it could make things worse and it could wind you up in hotter water. So keep your cool and be respectful and maybe the judge will release you on own recognizance.
We are located within walking distance of the Lee County and Hendry County Jails. We offer prompt, courteous services to obtain the quick release of our clients from Southwest Florida detention facilities. We also offer bond postings outside our local area through our Surety Network. We accept all major credit cards, Western Union, and personal checks.