If the offender is found not guilty or the accusations against them are withdrawn, the person who posted bail will be reimbursed. If the allegations are found to be true, then the person will be released from jail while they await their trial date.
The amount of bail required depends on the severity of the crime and the history of the defendant. If the defendant has no previous criminal records, a small amount of cash bail may be all that's needed to ensure their return for their court date. However, if the defendant has a record of violence or if there is suspicion that they may flee before their case can be heard by a judge, a more substantial bond may be requested. This is called "high risk" bail.
In most cases, if the accused cannot pay for their own bail, a friend or family member will be asked to post it. Often, people will post property as collateral to secure the bail amount. In this case, the property would be seized in order to cover the cost of housing the defendant while they await their day in court.
Cash bail is used for defendants who are considered a threat to public safety or a risk of fleeing before their case can be resolved.
Bail is held in the local jail until the defendant has met all of his or her responsibilities to appear in court on the charges. If the defendant does not breach the terms of his bail, the money is returned at the end of the proceedings. Even if the defendant is convicted, the money is refunded. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if the defendant has been arrested for a violent crime or has a history of failing to appear in court.
The amount of bail required depends on the severity of the charge and the defendant's record. Bail can be set by a judge or magistrate at any time before a person is sentenced. The burden is on the prosecution to prove that no other method could adequately ensure the defendant's appearance in court. If the prosecution cannot show this, then a mandatory detention hearing must be held to determine whether the case should go forward while the defendant is out on bail.
If the defendant appears at the hearing and claims that he or she cannot afford to pay for bail, then a public defender or other state-appointed lawyer will be provided to represent him or her. If the defendant cannot be located, then it may be possible to proceed with the hearing despite his or absence. The prosecution still has the burden of proving that no other method could have ensured the defendant's appearance, and if they are unable to do so, then bail must be set.
Contrary to common assumption, bail money does not go to the attorneys (for the record, this is not how lawyers get paid). Once you've posted bail, your bail money is held by the court until all of your trial dates have passed. The bail money is then released to your attorney once trial has been continued to a later date.
In some cases, the judge may order that the bail money be put in a trust account for you if you are unable to pay your attorney directly. In this case, the court-ordered trustee will distribute your money according to your instructions. You can tell your attorney where to send the bail money by signing a written authorization form. Your attorney must keep this form with your other papers in your file.
If there is no court order directing what should happen to the bail money, then it goes into a general fund from which fees and costs are paid. Your attorney will know about any such fund and may want to be included in its distribution unless you ask otherwise.
Finally, your attorney may choose to keep certain amounts of the bail money as his fee for handling your case. For example, if your attorney works on a contingency basis, which means he gets paid only if you win your case, he might take a portion of the bail money as payment for his services.
The bail money will be held by the court until the defendant has fulfilled all of the charges. The courts will restore the money to the individual who deposited the complete bail sum. If the person does not fulfill the conditions of their release, the court may keep the money as a security measure.
Bail is money that someone other than the accused pays to guarantee that they will appear in court when they are scheduled to appear. This may be a cash deposit with the court or, more commonly, a loan from a bail bond company. The bail bond company is then responsible for making sure the defendant shows up for their next court date. If the defendant fails to do so, the company must pay the court what it was originally given to secure the defendant's appearance.
The primary purpose of bail is to ensure that those who pose a risk of fleeing from justice will stay behind bars while their cases are pending. However, there are some cases where it makes sense for the government to keep funds on hand in case the defendant decides to return home before their trial. In these situations, the collateral used to secure the bail will be released back to its owner once the defendant has been found guilty and sentenced.
Taxpayers generally cover the cost of setting bail.