What to Know About the Bail Process

Many may think that they should seek the help of a bail bondsman the minute they or a loved one is accused of a crime. However, before you start conducting an internet search, such as “bail bonds West Chester PA,” consider learning more about the legal process.

Arrest

Typically, an individual will be arrested for a specific crime. These suspects should be read their rights and told what they are charged with. This must occur before these individuals are placed within police vehicles.

After they arrive at the police station, these individuals will be processed for their crime. When defendants are booked, their photos and fingerprints are taken. Then, the police will check their criminal records. All their personal information, including name, address and date of birth, is recorded.

Finally, the defendant is placed in jail. Then, these individuals must wait for a scheduled court date before they can apply for bail.

Court

During their initial court date, which typically occurs within 48 hours of their arrest, defendants can request bail. The judge may or may not grant bail based on the severity of their crimes, their criminal records and whether they may be considered a risk to others or a flight risk. Personal and family obligations as well as income may also be taken into consideration by the judge. Bail can be denied for a number of reasons, not the least of which is state law restricting bail, especially for specific crimes.

Bail Conditions

Courts may decide to offer bail under specific conditions. For example, defendants may have to keep their jobs, adhere to restraining orders, remain within a geographic location, complete court-mandated programs and even surrender their firearms. If defendants meet all the court’s requirements, including showing up at scheduled court dates, their bail will be returned.

Not all states allow bail, so defendants should learn about their state laws and bail requirements.

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