Understanding bail

Bail is the amount of money that a defendant must provide to the court to be released from custody.  It is not a fine or penalty. The purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant will appear for court.

Factors utilized by the court to set bail:

  • the safety of the community
  • the dangerous nature of the defendant
  • the type of criminal activity alleged
  • the risk of the defendant not returning to court

The two most important factors are danger to the community and likelihood of not returning to court.

What happens after bail is set?

Defendant may provide cash to the court to satisfy the bail. Alternatively, the court may accept real property to satisfy the bail.   The court may also allow a bail bondsman to post bail.  A bail bondsman provides insurance that the defendant will appear for court.  The bail bondsman will charge a premium in addition to bail.  Generally, this premium is between 5 and 7 percent of the total bail amount.  This can also be a negotiated amount between the bail bondsman and defendant.  There is no set amount.

New Jersey provides defendants with a 10% option.  Here, a defendant may pay the court 10% of the total face amount of the bond.  The court must agree to this.

It is important to rely on an experienced criminal defense attorney to reduce bail.

Contact our office for a free consultation.

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