Are All Offenders Eligible for Bail? How Is Bail Set?

Interviewer: Can you explain to me how does bail work?  This could help parents who are looking to pose bail for their children or someone who is a first offender. How is bail set?  Do they have to pay it all in cash?  Do they get it back?

There Are Several Bond Options, Including a Surety, Cash and a Non-Surety Bond

Jack O’Donnell: It’s a complicated situation, but when an individual is arrested and taken down the police station he or she can be given a promise to appear. A bond can be placed on them and there are several kinds of bond.

With a surety bond, you have to pay a percentage to a bondsman. There is a cash bond, which you could pay yourself and a non-surety bond, which nobody has to post anything, and then you’re released.

After an Arrest, the Judge May Review the Terms of the Bond and Modify It Prior to Your Being Released from Jail

Sometimes if you’re arrested by warrant you are taken to the station.  The Judge could have put a bond on the warrant, but if he doesn’t it’s up to the desk sergeant to impose a bond. Then if you remain in custody because you didn’t bond out, the next business day there’s an arraignment and the Judge reviews the terms of the bond and may raise it, may lower it, may keep it the same, may change it to a promise to appear, or may add conditions.

You can bond out from the jail using the bondsman or having to put up your own property.  It’s a complicated area.

You Have to Attend the Arraignment; Failure to Attend Can Result in a Re-Arrest

Interviewer: You mentioned the arraignment.  During the original arraignment does the client have to go, or do you go on behalf of the client?

Jack O’Donnell: They have to be there, especially if they’re in custody, obviously they’re brought there for the arraignment. If they were given a promise to appear they still have to show up in court, in the arraignment court. If they don’t show up they can be potentially re-arrested for failing to appear.

You Are Informed of the Charges against You at the Arraignment

Interviewer: What happens during the arraignment?

Jack O’Donnell:  Theoretically they’re just told what their charges are and the bond is reviewed. If there’s a protective order that’s provided, that’s given to the arrestee to let him know what he’s not to do toward the protected person, and then a new court date is given.

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