When someone has been arrested by police, they will be placed in jail. Jail serves as an intermediate process between when someone has been placed in handcuffs and when they must appear before a judge in court to try their crime, and in most cases, can be exchanged for financial compensation, called bail. Bail is cash, bond, or property that the person that has been arrested gives to the court in order to ensure that they appear before a judge when they are ordered to appear. Someone that does not appear will then forfeit the bail and have a warrant issued for their arrest.
How can I pay bail?
For some common crimes, there is a standard bail that has been set that can allow them to be freed from jail before seeing a judge. For more complex cases, the judge is responsible for weighing the situation and determining a fair bail amount.
Bail can be paid:
- Cash or check in full;
- Property worth in full;
- Bond; or
- Release on one's own recognizance.
If the bail amount is too high, a suspected criminal may be able to have the amount reduced. Under the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, bail is intended only to ensure that the defendant appears in court. This means it cannot be used to punish someone that has been arrested nor can it be used as a means to raise funds for the government. However, this is not always how the court operates. Some judges will set a high bail amount to prevent a suspect from leaving jail or for them to neglect showing up in court.
Some people are able to get out of jail on their own recognizance, meaning that they have given their word to show up at the appropriate time. Usually this is offered to those that have strong ties to the community and no criminal record, although there are other factors that can contribute.
Anyone that has been accused of a crime will likely have the option of bail. Even if you are released, it is in your best interests to retain an experienced Chicago criminal defense lawyer. You never know the effect that a criminal record may have on your life, and you need to take any possible step to protect yourself! Call today to get started with The Toney Law Firm, LLC.