If you’re arrested, you may post bail without spending a night in jail. However, in some cases, you may have to wait for a hearing, and a judge will decide whether you should be released. Here are a few answers to common questions you may have about the first court appearance of your case.
FAQ About Bail Hearings
How long will I have to wait for the hearing?
If the jail doesn’t have a preset bail amount for your offense, you’ll have to wait in jail for the hearing. Everyone has a Constitutional right to a speedy trial, so the court should schedule a hearing within a few days. However, if you’re arrested on a Friday, you may have to wait through the weekend for your hearing.
What happens at the hearing?
The court will weigh any factors that may determine whether or not you’re likely to make your future court appearance. In addition to the severity of the charge, they’ll also consider your criminal record, ties to the community, and employment status.
Is bail guaranteed?
While most defendants are eligible, courts have considerable discretion when deciding whether someone should be released from custody. Most defendants will be granted bail; however, you may have to follow other conditions.
What conditions may the judge place on my release?
The judge will likely require you to put up a certain amount of money as a guarantee you’ll show up for court. Depending on the charges, the court may also require you to complete substance abuse counseling, avoid leaving the state, or comply with a curfew.
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