Fri 22 Oct 2010
What is Bail?
We always hear the word “Bail” in the news or at least when one of our favorite celebrities gets arrested. No I’m not just talking about Lindsay Lohan! By definition, bail means the legal system that allows an accused individual to be provisionally released from custody. This is usually on condition that a sum of money or a tangible asset guarantees their appearance at trial. This is based on the understanding that the accused party will return for trial or forfeit the bail and possibly be brought on charges of the crime of “failure to appear”.
The option of bail is generally extended to persons who have been charged with a crime that merits incarceration between the time of arrest and the date that the case will be tried in a court of law. To simply explain the term “Incarceration”, it means that the person will be denied the normal liberty of movement. Some people refer to it as detention by enforcement authorities such as police or military.
While it is true that bail can be granted after an arrest has taken place, it will still depend on the jurisdiction and the nature of the crime (especially). The person has the option to bail out within a few hours after entering jail. This is mostly applicable for relatively minor offenses and in situations that the chance of the suspect fleeing the immediate area is very low.
The amount of bail can differ from a small sum to a very expensive amount that would taunt many people. Fortunately enough, the court does not always require the suspect to pay the entire bail amount before being temporarily released. In other words, the suspect may choose to post a fraction of the total bail and be granted a release until the specified court date. A relative or close friend is allowed to provide the bail money required by the court with a pledge on the remaining amount. In most cases, the suspect has to pay at least one tenth of the total bail amount.
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