Learn how bail is set, how to get it lowered, when to use a bond, what happens if you jump.
Bail: Getting Out of Jail After an Arrest
Bail is cash, a bond, or property that an arrested person gives to a court to ensure that he or she will appear in court when ordered to do so.
Acceptable Forms of Bail
Bail helps ensure that defendant show up in court.
How Judges Set Bail
Judges set bail based initially on a "bail schedule," but they can raise or lower the amount, based on the circumstances of the case.
Limits to How Much Bail the Judge Can Require
Bail should not be used to punish a defendant, or raise money for the state. Its valid use is to secure the defendant's presence at trial.
Convincing a Judge to Lower the Initial Bail
A defendant with strong ties to the community is not likely to flee--and may warrant a lowered bail because of it.
Bail Jumping—or Failing to Appear After Bailing Out
Forfeiting bail isn't necessarily all an absent defendant will have to deal with.
Bail While Awaiting Appeal
People who have been accused of crime have a general right to bail pending trial.
Bail Bonds and Bounty Hunters
Many defendants who have been arrested secure their temporary release from jail through bail—that is, by depositing a sum of money set by a magistrate with the court.
What Is a Bail Algorithm? How Are Bail Algorithms Used?
Some U.S. jurisdictions are using advanced formulas to evaluate the risks that defendants pose. Judges weigh these evaluations when considering pretrial release.
What Happens at a Bail Hearing?
Learn about bail schedules and how attorneys argue about bail amounts.
Is it ever wise to just stay in jail and wait for trial?
In most situations, staying in jail pending trial is not a good idea.
What's a bench warrant?
What is a bench warrant? Is there a difference between a bench warrant and a regular arrest warrant?
What is a detention hearing?
A pretrial detention hearing in federal court is much like a bail hearing in state court.