If you or a loved one has to deal with the bail process, it is important to understand how the process works so that there are no misunderstandings.
The First Step
After an arrest, the judge usually sets the amount of the bail the same day. In some courts, there is a bail schedule for misdemeanors and felonies.
However, there are times when the court decides to conduct a bail hearing for some special reason, such as the defendant is a high flight risk or a possible danger to the public. There are many serious crimes as well that require a bail hearing.
A defendant can pay the bail amount in cash or ask the help of a co-signor or a bonds agent. When you choose to get the help of a bail bond company, expect additional costs for their services.
A common question is how long does a defendant stay in jail from the moment of his arrest. Generally, he may have to wait at least half an hour — the time it takes for a judge to set bail amount and for the police to conduct a criminal records check.