Steps to Take After You Have Made Bail
Get Representation For the Best Chance of Limiting Legal Repercussions
Being arrested and having to post bail can be a scary situation, especially if it’s the first time it has happened to you. Understanding the process and what to do after posting bail will help you feel more comfortable, but it’s also important to find a criminal lawyer to help you as soon as possible. Having an experienced lawyer, such as Phil Clark, to represent you in court will ensure you have the best chance of limiting your legal repercussions.
How Does Bail Work?
When someone is arrested, they may be let out on bail, especially if it is a smaller offense such as a DUI. Bail is meant to ensure you show up for your court date and should be set at a reasonable price. The Eighth Amendment establishes that no person can have an excessive bail amount set against them. Typically, higher bail amounts will be assigned to those arrested under suspicion of selling drugs or murder, so the amount assigned to you will depend on your crime and determined flight risk.
Find Out Your Bail Amount as Soon as Possible
Depending on the crime for which you were arrested, you may have to wait to see a judge so a bail amount can be assigned. However, more common crimes, such as a DUI, will have set bail amounts. If this is the case, all you have to do is post bail and then find a good DUI lawyer to help with your court case.
Your Options for How to Post Bail
You have a few options for how to post bail: pay by cash/check, sign over ownership of property, give a bail bond, or being released on your own recognizance by signing a statement that you’ll appear in court. Typically, if you have an option, choosing release on your own recognizance is the best choice and you should avoid paying by bail bond. Your bail should be returned to you when you appear in court but if you choose a bail bond, you will still have to pay 10% of your bail. If you cannot afford your bail because of your financial situation, the judge may take that into consideration; however, your crime and determined flight risk will play a much larger role.
What Should You Do Next?
Once you post bail, then what do you do? You still have an impending court case to determine any jail time, fines, or other restrictions as a result of your crime or arrest. Unless you have a background in law, that’s a scary situation and you should not go through it alone.
Don’t Wait to Contact a Lawyer
The first thing you should do upon being released on bail is to find a defense lawyer to start building your case. The best way to fight charges brought against you and get a fair trial is to find a lawyer experienced in defense of your crime. A DUI lawyer will thoroughly understand the laws and regulations around such arrests so they can explain your situation to you and represent you in court.
Work with Your Lawyer to Build Your Case
It’s important to cooperate with your lawyer once you get one. Their job is to represent you and minimize any repercussions from your arrest, so if they need more information, be open with them about what you know and what you did. The first step in them being able to help you in court is to understand your situation.
Don’t Miss Your Court Date
If you have posted bail, you must show up for your court date in order to get your bail back. Again, if you used a bail bond, you still must pay 10% of your bail. While you cannot avoid that cost, it’s better than losing your entire bail – not to mention the legal repercussions of failing to show up. With more minor criminal charges, your case should be fairly straightforward and a good defense lawyer will be able to help build your case so you aren’t stuck representing yourself with limited knowledge of the law.
Speak to an Experienced Lawyer for Bail Advice
The most important step after posting bail is to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to get help with building your court case. Even with a common crime such as a DUI, the judge’s decision and any legal repercussions can vary depending on how you are represented. If you’ve been charged with a crime and posted bail, give Phil Clark Law in Boulder a call to get started right away.
Phil Clark has practiced criminal law for over 25 years, first as a prosecutor for the Denver District Attorney’s Office and now as a criminal defense attorney in Boulder. Having criminal charges on your permanent record can have a huge impact on your future. A criminal attorney can help keep your record clean and save a lot of trouble caused by charges such as a DUI, assault, or domestic violence.