How Do I Get Out of Jail After an Arrest?
After you have been arrested and put in jail, your first thoughts will be how to get out of jail and get back home. Typically, this is done through the bail process, which requires you to post money or another asset that has cash value to the court in return for a guarantee that you will show up to your subsequent court dates.
The process is not as simple as requesting bail. Instead, there is a criminal process you must go through to post bail and get home.
How Bail is Set for Criminal Defendants
Per the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the courts cannot set an excessive bail amount. Bail cannot be used to raise money for the state or purposely keep you in jail. However, the amount of bail is based on the crime. For more serious criminal charges bail amounts will be higher than for less serious crimes. However, the courts do have the right to deny bail if they feel that you are a flight risk, or the crime is too serious to allow your release.
Regardless, you will go to an arraignment or bail hearing in front of a judge and the judge will determine your bail amount. Realize that this is not always done immediately. Typically, you do not see a judge the same day, especially if you are arrested on a weekend or even Friday evening.
During your hearing, the judge will read the crimes you are accused of, sometimes you can enter a plea (if you are in an arraignment hearing), and then your bail amount is set.
How Do You Pay Bail?
Posting bail, which is the payment of your bail amount, is done by paying cash or check, signing your property over to the county, or giving a bond. A bond is a promise that if you do not appear, you will pay the entire amount of your bail.
What if You Cannot Afford Bail?
There are situations where you may be unable to pay the bail amount set. In this case, you can ask the judge for a lower bail amount. Your attorney can request the lowered amount and show evidence of your inability to pay the amount that was set. The judge can decide to lower the amount or deny your request. If you cannot afford to pay the entire amount you can use property or receive a bail bond from a bondsman.
However, keep in mind that if you seek a bail bond from a bondsman you will automatically lose 10 percent of the bail amount to the bond company. The bondsman takes a risk in bonding you out of jail and only taking 10% down so you can afford to get out. Because he takes that risk, you pay 10% that isn’t returned once your case is over.
Can You be Released on Your Own Recognizance?
Yes, many misdemeanors and other minor crimes will involve an ROR – that is, Release on your Own Recognizance. If you have no criminal history, your defense attorney can request that you are released on ROR instead of having to pay bail.
Some factors will increase the odds that you are released ROR:
- Have family members close to you in the community
- Having a job in the community
- Being raised locally
- No criminal history, or only small misdemeanor(s) on your record
- Having a good track record of showing up for court dates in the past
Arrested? You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney for Bail
To increase the odds in your favor when it comes to bail, you need a criminal defense attorney. Speak with an attorney from New Mexico Criminal Law Offices today to explore your options for defense, but also for assistance with your bail.
Schedule your consultation by calling our offices at 505-375-4767 or by requesting more information online.