Posting bail, post-arrest
Being arrested and going to jail is unsettling for both the person arrested and their family, friends, even co-workers. The first concern for everyone is to get that person released. There is a process that must take place, involving several steps, which we will cover here.
The first step of the process is “booking” and a bail hearing. The booking is getting the person’s name into the system and the bail hearing will determine that a person can be released before a trial is scheduled and how much will it cost to post bail. A judge will preside over this hearing and is the one that will determine how much is needed and if the accused can post bail or bond with no conditions.
This is the point where a family member or friend will seek the service of a bail bondsman to post bail for the accused. You can post bail without a bondsman if you know somebody that has the full amount of the bail the judge has set. This can be as small as $100, or even less. It can also be in the millions – all depending on what the judge sets the bond.
Do you still go to jail if you pay bail?
Upon being arrested, the accused is typically placed in a “holding cell” after being booked. They will stay there until their bail hearing, which as we explained above, is when a judge will determine if they are able to post bail and be released, and how much that bail is set. The “holding cell” is usually not in the same area as the long-term cells. Think of it as akin to the triage room of a hospital emergency room.
Can you post bail before seeing a judge?
After the accused is booked, depending on the crime, the courts may offer the defendant the option to post bail based on a pre-determined schedule for common crimes, usually nonviolent misdemeanors. If the accused accepts the option and can post bail on their own, they are released from jail.
What happens if the accused declines the option to post bail or can’t post bail? They will be placed in a holding cell until an arraignment is set, where they will go before a judge.
As seen in movies and on television, anyone arrested is allowed one phone call. The person they all can post bail for someone if they have the financial means. Not all municipalities have courts in session with a judge that rules on how much the accused will need to post bail on weekends. In that case, the accused may be placed in a regular cell until the next day the court is in session with a judge.
How long does it take to get out of jail after posting bail?
After the accused post bail themselves, another person, or with a bail bondsman, they will be freed from jail. This doesn’t mean their legal matters are over though. When you post bail, it is a security that the defendant will return to court on the date issued by the judge. The purpose of a financial expense to post bail it to discourage the accused from not showing up for their trail or leaving town with no intention of returning. If the accused does not show up as detailed in the conditions when they post bail, a warrant for their arrest will be issued.
Can you post your own bail?
If the accused is financially able and has the cash on hand, yes, you can post bail yourself. Otherwise, you must contract with a bondsman.
What happens if you don’t post bail?
Simple answer: You won’t be set free from jail if you can post bail that is determined by the court or the judge. You will remain incarcerated until your court date. This can be anywhere from a week to several months.
In review, the typical process and steps after being arrested will go something like the following:
- The accused is transported to the police station where they are booked.
- After booking, the court may offer the accused an option to post bail which is based on a pre-determined schedule of common, non-violent crimes. If they are able and willing to post bail, they are released from jail.
- If the accused cannot post bail in the amount offered or refuses to post bail, they are placed in a holding until their court hearing or an arraignment.
- At the arraignment or hearing, the accused can plead guilty or not guilty and the judge will set a bail amount. This accused can pay that amount out of pocket in cash or seek the services of a bail bondsman.
- Prior to your court date, the recommendation is as soon as you are released from jail, you should seek the services of an attorney. This should be done even if you know that you are guilty of the charges against you. They will work to get the best sentencing for you possible.
Every citizen’s goal should be avoiding arrest, but things happen, and therefore we have a legal system in place. Following the letter of the law is always best, but if we don’t, we can depend on the legal system and due process. Call 888-224-5711 today for posting bail in Lebanon and Reading, PA.