This evergreen blog post is for a hypothetical criminal defense attorney based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, whose targeted audience is low-income, urban defendants. The post explains the basic elements of bail, and how it works.
Getting arrested for something you didn’t do can be the most frustrating time of your life. To make matters even worse, if you don’t want to stay in jail until your trial, you’ll have to post bail. Unfortunately, bail can be expensive, especially if the crime you’ve been accused of is a serious one. If you don’t have some money saved up, this can make life difficult. Here’s what you should know about bail.
What Happens Right After Being Arrested?
After being arrested, you’re brought to the police station for booking. There, the police take your fingerprints, put your personal belongings in inventory, and record your personal information, like your name and address. Then they put you in a holding cell or the local jail until your upcoming court appearance, so they’ll know that you’ll be present.
The problem is that your court appearance can be a long ways away. It wouldn’t be right for the police to keep you locked up for that long, especially because they don’t even know if you’re guilty or innocent.
Do I Have to Stay in Jail Until My Court Appearance?
This is where bail comes in.
Bail is the money that you pay to the court, as proof that you’ll be present for your court appearances. By posting bail, you’re telling the court that they don’t need to keep you in jail until your court appearance – instead, they can keep some of your money until then. If you post bail, and then go to all of your required court dates, your bail money will be returned to you. However, if you post bail and then miss an appearance at court, then the court will keep your bail money, and may also issue an arrest warrant for your failure to appear.
How Much Does Bail Cost?
How much bail will be depends on how bad the crime was that you are accused of, as well as your criminal record and whether the court thinks you’ll be a danger to the community, or will run away. Sometimes, especially for low-level crimes, there’s no bail, at all. Instead, you’ll be booked and then released on your own recognizance: Instead of posting bail, all you have to do to leave the police station is to make a written promise that you’ll appear in court.
Our Law Firm Can Help You Negotiate Bail
Even though bail is something that happens soon after an arrest, having a criminal defense attorney on your side during the bail process can help a lot. Our criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience challenging bail decisions by judges in Tulsa and across Oklahoma, and we’ve had countless successes. Each time we win on a bail issue, someone like you has been able to post bail for much less than it might have cost, without us. Call our Tulsa law office or contact us online if you need to post bail, and want to have a defense lawyer to make sure it goes well.
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