Understanding Your Options for Release After an Arrest

Posted on: 25 October 2018

Getting arrested can be a confusing process for someone who's never been through it before. Understanding the terms for securing your release is an important step in your journey through the criminal justice system. Here are some things you should know when looking to secure your release.

Getting Released on Recognizance

When you appear before the judge, he or she will determine the amount of bail required to secure your release. In some cases, the judge may opt for release on recognizance (ROR). This option means you won't need to pay any bail, but you'll still need to agree to appear in court on your trial date. Being released on your own recognizance still comes with penalties if you fail to appear on the assigned date, so you'll want to make sure you understand when and where you need to appear.

Posting Bond

If the judge does set a bail amount, it may be something you can afford to pay out of your existing funds. Typically, you'll need to post a certain percentage of the bail. So if the required amount is ten percent, you'll need to have that percentage available on the day you are planning to be released. Even if you don't have the money available, you can have a friend or family member post for you. The money can be refunded as long as you meet all of the demands placed by the court; however, the number of fines and fees associated with your trial and court appearances may be subtracted from your bail amount.

Hiring a Bail Bond Company

In some cases, bail might be set higher than you can afford. In this case, a bail bond company can provide assistance. The bail bondsman will advance the amount of money needed to secure your release, depending on your agreement to meet a certain set of conditions. You'll be expected to appear at all court dates demanded by the judge, and you'll also need to comply with any other terms of your release. Failure to do so can result in forfeiture of any collateral put up by you or your family. The bail bond company will let you know what you can use for collateral to secure your release. This might include a home, car, or boat, but you may still be able to hire a bond company even if you don't have a lot of available assets. You or a family member will need to have a detailed conversation to determine your eligibility to use bail bond services.