How Does Bail Work?

Wooden gavel and American dollars | how does bail work

One of the most common questions that a criminal defense attorney hears is about how to get out of jail after an arrest. Anyone who has ever watched a television program about police or courts knows a little bit about bail, but most people don't actually understand what it is, or why it exists. How does bail work and what is it's purpose? Bail is an attempt to ensure that innocent people are not punished for crimes that they did not commit. Because you are innocent in the eyes of the law until you have been proven guilty in court, you are generally given the opportunity to secure your freedom during the time between your arrest and your trial. Not only does this allow you your freedom until your trial, but it also allows you more flexibility in working with your defense lawyer. Of course, in order to ensure that you are able to make bail, contact an experienced Denver defense lawyer immediately to discuss your options.

The Bail Process

A judge will set a dollar value for bail. What essentially happens is that you pay a deposit to the court in that amount, to secure your freedom during the trial. The deposit is returned if you make all scheduled appearances; once the case is over, whatever the outcome, bail can be returned. If you fail to appear for court, you forfeit your bail. If you don't have enough money to make bail, there are a couple of options open to you: someone else can post bail for you, in some cases you can post a property bond, or you can work with a bail bondsman. In the case of a property bond, you are essentially using some valuable property as collateral for your bail. In this case, if you fail to appear, you (or whoever posted bail for you) can lose that property. When you work through a bail bond agent, you make an arrangement with the agent to post bail for you. Obviously, because they are a business, this will cost you a fee, but sometimes can be the only option if bail is set higher than you can afford.

When setting bail, the judge begins with a schedule that gives a general bail value depending on the crime with which you are charged. This number can be adjusted, either higher or lower, depending on your circumstances. The amount may be lowered if you have no criminal history, if you have a history of appearing for court, if the state seems to have a weak case against you, or if your finances are such that you cannot post the given amount, among other reasons. Conversely, the bail amount may be raised if you have a history of failing to appear for court, if there is some specific reason to believe you may not appear, or if the state appears to have a great deal of evidence against you. In any case, an aggressive criminal defense lawyer will give you the best possible chance of bail being set at an amount that you can live with.

Protect Your Freedom and Your Rights

If you have been arrested, or are under investigation for any crime, contact Steven Louth Law Offices immediately to protect your freedom. Steven and Zachary Louth are dedicated, experienced Denver criminal defense attorneys who can fight hard for your rights, from your first hearing through trial and sentencing. At every phase of the criminal justice process, your Denver defense lawyer can help get the best possible outcome for you. Steve understands that every case is different, and every person accused of a crime has rights, and will design your defense around the details of your case. For more information and a FREE CASE EVALUATION, contact Steven Louth Law Offices today.

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