An individual who is arrested for a crime will be processed and sent to jail. In most cases, however, there will be an opportunity for the defendant to be released before trial by posting the full amount of their bail.
But, what happens when the defendants cannot raise the full amount set by the court? Here are the three ways the defendant can still get out of jail after an arrest.
Hire a Local Bail Bonds Service
One popular option among defendants who cannot raise the full amount of their bail is to hire a bond agent, also known as a bail bondsman. In Summit County, Salt Lake City, and across Utah, there are companies that will be able to help individuals arrested for a crime to wait for trial outside of jail.
The bail bondsman promises to pay the full amount of the bail to the court if the defendant fails to appear during the trial. They will ask the defendant to pay a non-refundable fee, usually around 10% of the bail. The defendant will also have to put down collateral for the bond. If the defendant cannot produce the fee or property as collateral, a friend or family member can co-sign the bail bond and put down a collateral.
As long as the defendant appears in court for the trial, they do not have to surrender additional costs to the bail bondsman. However, if they fail to show up, the bail will be forfeited. The friends or family members who co-signed the bond will then be the ones to pay the full amount. They might also lose the property they used as collateral to obtain the bond. Moreover, the bail bondsman has the power to locate and surrender the defendant to court if needed.
Submit a Collateral to Court
You can cut the middleman and submit collateral straight to court. Collaterals take the form of a house, a car, an expensive piece of jewelry, or any other large property. Submitting collateral will ensure the court that you will return on a set date to face trial. The collateral will be returned to the defendant or the party acting on behalf of the defendant after the case is completed. However, if the defendant fails to appear during the trial, the collateral will be seized by the court and then sold.
Own Recognizance (OR)
If the defendant is lucky, the court might release them after writing a promise to show up on an agreed-upon time and date for trial. This option is only given to individuals who have a spotless criminal history or has a job, a family, or any other connection to the community.
In this case, no bail money has to be paid to the court. The possibility that you can get out with only an O.R. is affected by the type and severity of the crime charged. Usually, if a defendant was arrested for any crime of violence, an O.R. release is unlikely. The court might also set additional requirements aside from the O.R. For example, for drivers with multiple DUI, they may be asked to attend alcohol treatment classes to be released.
Knowing the Bail Amount
The judge is responsible for setting the bail amount, but many jails have standard bail schedules for common crimes so that the defendant does not have to spend days behind bars. If you have any questions, consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows about the local laws and system to help you or your loved one get out of jail soon.