There may be months between your arrest and court proceedings. The bail process exists to help prevent you from spending that time in jail.
Bail is money given to the court to hold until your court date. For less serious crimes, you may be able to post bail immediately. For others, you will have to wait for a bail hearing where a judge determines the amount. The judge may deny bail under some circumstances and waive it completely in others.
If you have access to enough cash resources to post your bail, your attorney can secure your release as soon as the administrative tasks are complete. If cash bail is not an option, you can contact a bail bonds office for help.
A bail bondsman is someone who guarantees the full amount of your bail on your behalf, in exchange for a non-refundable fee. You may have to pledge property as collateral or provide a co-signer.
Failure to appear
If you fail to appear in court, the bond company will still have to pay the full bail amount to the court so they will want to collect the money from you. To do so, they may have to sell property pledged as collateral for the bond.
After your trial, the court will return the bail money either to you or the bondsman. The bail process can return you to your family and prevent lost time from work while awaiting your court date. It also helps to keep innocent people out of jail.