If you find yourself on the other side of the law, there might come a time when you need to understand how the bail process works. Once bail is set, you can pay the bail amount and be released from jail until you're set to show up in court. While the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that the bail not be excessive, it can still be unaffordable. You don't have to pay the full bail amount if you take out a bail bond; however, if you do, you'll be expected to pay a non-refundable premium that is approximately 10% of the total bail amount. If you violate any terms and conditions of the bail, you'll not only be sent back to jail, but you might be responsible for paying the full bail amount. Here are 3 common types of conditions that you might need to comply with.
Avoiding Contact with Alleged Victim in the Case of Physical or Sexual Assault
In the event that you are charged with a crime like physical or sexual assault, the court will want to confirm that you do not cause any more harm to the alleged victim by restricting the amount of contact that you can have with them. In general, this means that you cannot come within a certain distance of the alleged victim, and you cannot attempt to contact them in any way. For example, you cannot call them, email them, or even try to contact them through social media. You also cannot try to contact them indirectly through a friend or a third-person.
If the alleged victim claims and can prove that you tried to contact them or did come into contact with them, you could be sent right back to jail, and you will be responsible for paying the full bail amount that was set. The fact that you violated the condition will also be used against you in court. Your bail bondsman will go over what you can and cannot do to minimize the amount of contact that you have with the alleged victim, so you won't find yourself in hot water once again.
Staying Out of Trouble by Keeping a Set Curfew and Staying at a Certain Address
Another common type of condition that you might need to comply with is to be at home or at a certain address within a certain time of the day. This curfew is to prevent you from being able to go out and wreak havoc, especially at night. You'll have to give the court your current address and proof that you live there. For example, you might be asked to submit a bill addressed to you, or the court might just use the address you listed on your driver's license. An officer of the court might make surprise house visits to make sure that you're at home after the curfew. If not, they might call you on a landline to confirm that you are indeed home. Depending on the type of crime you were charged with, you might be required to check in with an officer as well.
Your bail bondsman will give you some tips on how to prove that you complied with this condition at all times. For example, you might want to install a security camera in your home to prove that you did go home or you might be asked to install a landline, so that you can be reached at all times. Your bail bondsman might require you to check in with them periodically, or they might even make house visits just to make sure that you're home.
Being a Contributing Member of Society by Finding or Keeping Employment
To prove that you're a contributing member of society, your bail condition might be that you need to either find or keep employment while you're out. If you currently are not employed, the bail will generally give you some leniency to find suitable employment. At times, your bail bondsman might even be able to help you out in finding employment. If you can't find employment due to tough economic times, you might be able to get away with some type of community service. This is provided that you log a certain amount of hours each week.
Your bail bondsman can help you negotiate this condition, so that it is tailored to your current lifestyle. For example, if you are not currently employed, the bail bondsman might be able to negotiate more time for you to find employment provided that you participate in some community service each week.
Understanding what your responsibilities are is important. Before taking out a bail bond with a company like All Star Bail Bonds, make sure you fully understand whether there are any conditions attached. You also need to determine what the consequences for violating any of the conditions might be. Some conditions might be more lenient than others.