Most people are familiar with the concept of bail following an arrest. If you’ve been arrested, you can post bail—that is, give the court a certain sum of money in exchange for being released from pretrial detention as a way to guarantee that you will show up for your court date. How much bail will cost depends on the crime for which you were arrested. This is called a bail schedule. So, for instance, if you broke into a vending machine (burglary of a vending machine) to steal a bag of potato chips, the bail may be set at $1,000.
The Norman, Oklahoma bail process
This is what you can generally expect following an arrest: Within 24-48 hours (or more, if on a weekend) of being arrested, processed and possibly detained at the police station or sheriff’s office, you will face your first court appearance, called an arraignment or initial appearance. (In addition to making your plea, bail is set at this time. Can bail also be denied? Yes, under certain circumstances, which typically includes:
- Commission of a violent crime
- Two or more previous felony convictions
- Drug charges in which penalties are 10 years or more
- An offense for which the penalty includes a potential life imprisonment sentence
One thing you should know is that you have the right to a defense lawyer, even before trial. In addition to making sure your rights are not violated, a skilled attorney may be able to have bail reduced, or even
What is a bond?
While bail is the actual cash paid for that “get out of jail card,” a bond is like an insurance policy that you will show up for your court hearing. A bail bondsman is the entity that puts up the cash or property to secure your release from detention. Understandably, this is a business transaction and you have to pay a “premium” for this service. In Oklahoma, that premium is capped at 10 percent of the bail amount. So, for instance, if your bail is $10,000, the bail bondsman’s fee is $1,000. Failure to show up at court is considered bail-jumping, a felony crime in and of itself and, if the bail bondsman cannot locate you and bring you to court within 75 days, he or she is allowed to seize your property.
There are different types of bonds, as well. They include:
- Signature bonds: In the best of all worlds, you won’t have to put up an asset or pay money to secure your release. A signature bond is one in which you pledge to show up for your trial date and are being released on your own recognizance.
- Unsecured bonds: With an unsecured bond, you must sign a contract agreeing to terms specified by the court and are held liable should you breach the contract; i.e., you fail to show up to court.
- Secured bonds: A secured bond means that you have paid money or used property to secure your release. This money may be from your own funds or, in most cases with high bail amounts, you have received what is essentially a loan from a bail bondsman.
Protect your rights when faced with a bail hearing
At Patriot Law in Norman, Oklahoma, we stand up for you when you’ve been arrested for a crime, whether a misdemeanor or a felony. Bail is your right under the 8th Amendment of the Constitution, which states that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” We make sure that your rights are upheld. To discuss your situation with our Norman, Oklahoma criminal defense attorney, please call us at (405) 979-0179 or contact us online.