The answer, yes and no. It depends on the situation. After the arraignment, when you’re awaiting trial, the judge may release you on your own recognizance, or you may have to post bail, a cash deposit left with the court to assure that you show up for trial. The amount of your bail is based on the severity of the crime and the judge’s evaluation of how responsible you are. Make all your court appearances, and you get your money back. If you don’t make all your court appearances, the court keeps the money. It also depends on how busy the jail is and how fast the jail staff wants to move. On some charges, if it’s the weekend, there is a good chance that the inmate will have to wait until Monday or Tuesday to see a judge. There are lots of little things that can speed up or slow down the process of getting out of jail. Most of the time, once your bail is set, you can be released anytime it’s paid.
Bail Bonds: Your Options
When you’re awaiting trial, the options are simple:
- Post the full bail amount to the court.
- Work with a bondsman to post bail.
- Stay in jail until your trial.
If you choose to work with a bail bond company like Big Fish Bail Bonds, you can usually expect fast results. We can often be there within an hour with paperwork in hand to get you on your way.
How Long Do You Have To Wait In Jail Before Being Bailed Out?
You can be arrested for any of several reasons:
- A warrant has been issued for your arrest
- You are a suspect in a criminal case
- A law enforcement officer thinks you’re about to commit a crime.
After your arrest, you are entitled to a speedy trial, which means you’re either set free or formally charged in a reasonable amount of time. “Speedy trial” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be out the next day, however. The sixth amendment defines speedy trial as being charged or released within 72 hours after your arrest.
Unlike on television, you are not guaranteed a phone call immediately after being arrested. You are entitled to contact an attorney, but if you are suspected of being under the influence of controlled substances, you probably won’t get that phone call until you’ve been breathalyzed, blood tested, etc.
Laws concerning “the phone call” and their enforcement are somewhat vague, and the fact is that some people don’t get phone calls at all during the 72-hour holding period.
If you land in jail, the best policy is to be respectful to the officers, and you’ll probably find the whole experience easier to navigate. The reality is that most law enforcement officers allow phone calls as rewards for good behavior. Play nice, and you may get as many phone calls as you want.
Remember that 72 hours is the maximum. In most cases, the wheels of justice move more quickly, and if you have bail money in your pocket, you may be on your way very quickly. Still, the fastest way to get out is to call a bondsman, as they have direct access to the people and resources involved in the bail-out process.
In What Cases Can Bail Be Granted?
Every case is different, but bail is usually an option as long as you don’t represent a “flight risk,” meaning the judge thinks you’ll head for the hills if set free. But there are other factors, as well …
Factors That Determine Bail Out Potential
- How severe the crime is. If you’re looking at some serious time for the charges you face, the judge may label you as a flight risk. But this is rare, and jails are often too full to hold onto more people without significant justification.
- A bad track record of showing up in court. If you’ve missed court dates before, the judge may assume that you’ll miss this one, if set free.
- You’re not from “around here.” If you reside in a distant place that makes it complicated for you to come back and appear for trial, the judge may decide not to allow bond.
Things You Can Do To Ensure Bail Possibility
Common sense goes a long way at every stage of the American criminal system. Here are some suggestions that should be obvious:
- Dress respectably and be well-groomed for your court appearances.
- Show up early for court appearances.
- Don’t miss any court appearances or related appointments.
- Be humble. Speak calmly and use your most professional manner.
- Meet the judge’s eyes, and when you speak, begin with the words, “your honor.”
The criminal court system is designed to protect society, but also to help people accused of crimes to become productive members of society. If you give them a chance, show respect, and do everything that’s asked of you, your journey will be easier. If you enlist the services of a bail bondsman, the same guidelines apply. And the bottom line is that this company has provided you with a valuable service in a time of great need, so it’s important that you honor your end of the contract as you move on to the next chapter in your life.
Have you have been asked the question, “Can you bail someone out of jail anytime?”
If so you’ll know how to answer them. After that, you’ll just need to contact Big Fish Bail Bond’s at 316-262-4100.