When you’re in legal trouble in Pennsylvania, you might worry about staying in jail until your trial. But there’s a way out – it’s called “bail.” This article is here to guide you through the process of getting released on bail in Pennsylvania, so you can understand what’s going on.
What Does Bail Mean?
Bail is like a promise with money. It’s a way for people who are accused of crimes to leave jail before their trial. The money is like a guarantee that they’ll come to court when they’re supposed to.
The Steps of Getting Bail in Pennsylvania:
1. Getting Arrested and Booked:
When the police arrest you, they take you to a police station or a county jail for recording your information. This includes your details, fingerprints, and pictures.
2. Going to a Bail Hearing:
After you’re booked, there’s a meeting called a bail hearing or arraignment. In this meeting, a judge or someone like a judge decides if you can leave jail before your trial and how much money you need to pay, if any.
3. Things They Look at for Bail:
The judge thinks about a few things before deciding how much bail you need. They consider how serious the crime is, if you’ve been in trouble before, how connected you are to your community, if you have a job, and if you might try to run away and not show up for court.
4. Different Ways to Pay Bail:
– Give Cash: You or your family can pay the full amount in cash or with a special check to get you out of jail.
– Get Help from a Bondsman: You can ask a bail bondsman for help. They pay your bail, and you pay them a percentage of money – like a fee.
– Offer Something Valuable: You can use something valuable, like a house, as a promise that you’ll come back to court.
5. Following Some Rules: Non-Monetary Conditions
Sometimes, if the court lets you out on bail, they might tell you to do certain things. For example, you might have to give up your passport, come home at a certain time, or go to a program.
6. Not Going to Court:
If you don’t show up for your court date, you lose the bail money, and the police will come looking for you based on your failure to appear.
7. Asking for Lower Bail:
If the money is too much, your lawyer can ask the court to lower it. This will happen by filing a motion and/or having another bail hearing.
Bottom Line: Bail is a way to leave jail while waiting for your trial in Pennsylvania. Knowing how it works and getting help from a lawyer can make the process easier for you.
Need help with bail? Angela Hayden Law is here to help you. Call us today for assistance.