Bailed Out For Free; What Happens Next?

Getting arrested comes as a surprise for most, and when it does happen, getting out as soon as possible becomes a high priority. You might be offered bail or you might not. There is actually a third possibility, however. Read on to learn more about being released without bail.

Getting Freed

Not only is it difficult to get legal representation and begin planning for your own defense from behind bars, the system is not set up to accommodate large numbers of prisoners in the lock-up. These city or county facilities seldom have the room for those who need to stay the months and months it might take for a trial to begin. Jail overcrowding is just one of the motivations for the concept of bail, where money or property is pledged in return for returning to face charges in court on a future date.

No Bail Needed

Getting offered bail is good news; it means that if the bail amount is reasonable and you have the resources to pay it, you will soon be free on bail. Some of the same reasoning behind getting bail is also at work for cases where the defendant is released on no bail. Not having to pay bail is often reserved for a specific set of circumstances.

Own Recognizance

When no bail is owed for a release it is known as being released on your own recognizance (OR). Just as with those released on bail, you agree not only to appear for your future court dates, but to refrain from getting in trouble again. Often the release is based on several written promises, such as:

1. Not associating with other criminals

2. Staying away from the alleged victim

3. Surrender of passports if fleeing the country is a possibility

The above conditions and more are known as a conditional release.

What Are the Chances?

Only certain people get offered OR, but if you meet one or more of the below, you could find yourself out of jail with no bail needed:

1. The charge was minor

2. You are a first-time offender

3. You are not considered to be a danger to the public

4. You have a job and close family and community connections

Failure to Appear

Whether you are out on bail or released on your own recognizance, failure to show up for your court hearing is considered a serious matter. A warrant for your arrest will be issued, and you will find new charges added on to your original charges.

Take Action

Contact a criminal defense attorney or a criminal lawyer, and get started on the bail and OR evaluation process immediately. The sooner you taste freedom, the sooner you can get your legal situation resolved.