You’ve probably heard about bail in TV shows and movies that are related to the law, but have you ever wondered what the intricacies of this policy are? Whether you’re accused of a crime or someone that simply wants to educate themselves, learning about this legal framework is in your best interest. We help you do so in the sections below.
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When the police arrest you, you’re taken to jail for some amount of time. What happens next is that you must schedule a court date for a judge to hear your case. The delay between those two events can be quite long, so the court system likes to let people out during it. They do so by giving that person bail, which gives the accused party the right to stay out of jail until the case has been resolved.
When the police arrest you, they have a choice between releasing you with a court summons or bringing you to bail court. If you have no criminal record and your crime was not severe, you may be let off right away. A more serious crime, criminal history, or any other factor that questions your credibility will earn you a trip to a bail hearing.
The way you obtain bail is by attending a special hearing. What will happen at it is a judge calling multiple witnesses to the stand to hear their sides of the story. The most of importance of them will be you, the arresting officer, and any people that were at the scene of the alleged crime. Lawyers from each side argue for or against allowing bail, and the judge decides what to do when the hearing is over. At this point, you can be granted or denied bail.
Factors That Affect Bail
The following are some typical factors that decide whether or not you will receive bail.
- Criminal record.
- The severity of the charges.
- Potential danger to the public.
- The odds that you will commit more crimes.
- The type of life you live.
The Ultimate Decider
The person that will ultimately decide whether or not you are eligible for bail is the judge. While you, your bail lawyer in Toronto and your opposition all play crucial roles in the process, your judge will have final say over your bail terms.
When You Need to Pay
Luckily, you usually do not have to pay the full bail amount the day of your hearing. Instead, you can promise to make payments and get out without paying anything upfront. This obligation is called a “recognizance,” and breaking the terms of your bail sometimes invalidates it.
The Guidelines You Must Follow
As you might imagine, you must follow strict guidelines when you are out on bail. Though they may vary case to case, a few typical ones are not confronting the alleged victim, using any weapons, or missing future court dates. Breaking any of these rules could land you back in jail.
If you believe that your bail conditions are unfair, you can have them changed. The way to do so is appealing the hearing and trying to get a new one. You can also apply to a higher court in some situations. Both of those tactics are best carried out by a lawyer.
How a Lawyer Can Help
Spending time in jail is one of the worst things a person can experience. For this reason, hiring the right lawyer is crucial. Doing so can lead to you getting out on favorable bail terms rather than being locked up.
Now that you know these nine details, you probably understand bail better than the vast majority of the population. Still, you will need professional help if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are accused of a crime. That assistance will come in the form of an attorney who specializes in bail law and knows precisely what to do to get you out of jail quickly.