If you’re ever arrested, the subjects of bail and bond will likely come into play. If you are placed in jail, it’s possible that you could be released based on your own recognizance. This means that you promised in writing to appear in court, and do not have to pay bail. In most cases, however, you can only be released by paying bail. Bail refers to the amount of money you must pay in order to leave jail.
Bail amounts can vary widely based on various factors. If you are having issues with your bail or feel that the amount is unfair based on the circumstances, get help from a Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyer from Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC. Call us today at (412) 281-2146.
Bail vs. Bond: What’s the Difference?
Bail and bond are two words often used interchangeably, but they actually mean two different things. Bail operates as collateral. It is a financial guarantee that you’ll appear in court.
A bond is posted by a bail bond company to secure your release. You can use a bail bond company if you cannot afford bail. For example, if your bail is $50,000, you may be able to obtain a bail bond for $10,000. The company will then guarantee your bond for the full amount. If you show up to court, the bail bond company does not have to pay anything more. However, if you don’t show up, the bond company must pay the court the entire $50,000. You will then owe the bond company the entire amount.
How Bail is Set
There are many factors that determine how much bail you can expect to pay. While judges typically adhere to a bail schedule, they can lower or raise this amount depending on the circumstances. Your employment status, criminal history, and residency in the community may all affect your bail amount.
The biggest factor, however, is the severity of the crime. Misdemeanors and petty crimes tend to result in lower bail amounts. The bail amount for felonies, however, will be significantly higher. Violent crimes like aggravated assault have higher bail amounts than felonies that are not violent, such as theft.
Why Your Bail May be Denied
While most people who are jailed are able to be released on bail, some people are denied bail. There are several reasons for this:
- You are considered a risk. Your past criminal history, behavior toward police and judges, and disrespect toward authority may cause a judge to believe that you may not show up for court hearings once released from jail.
- You committed a crime while on probation or parole. Repeat offenders get little sympathy. You were given a chance to prove yourself and you are accused of committing another crime.
- The crime was severe. If you are accused of murder, you may be considered a threat to the public. Instead of being released, you may be forced to stay in jail without bail.
- You are not a citizen. Once released on bail, you need to return to court for hearings. If you came to the United States illegally, there is a chance that you could instead return to your home country.
Were You Denied Bail?
If you are accused of a crime and are having issues obtaining a bail or bond, seek assistance from the Pittsburgh criminal defense lawyers at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, LLC. Our aggressive representation can help you through your stressful time and get you out of jail until it’s time for your trial. Give us a call today at (412) 281-2146.