When Can I Post Bail After An Arrest?
If you’re wondering when you can post bail after an arrest, this post will take you through all the facts and everything you should know. As you know, no one plans to be arrested when living in or visiting New Orleans. However, bad things happen from time to time and when they do sometimes you end up in jail.
If you find yourself in jail for a crime in New Orleans or anywhere in the state of Louisiana, you will almost always have a bail amount set for you. Here, we will discuss the ins and outs of the bail system in New Orleans and what it means if you find yourself charged and incarcerated in a local jail.
PRO TIP: Read this post on how do bail bonds work. We know you’ll find it helpful.
What Bail Means
For those who do not know what bail is, let’s discuss it further. Bail is granted to those charged with a crime as a guarantee they will show for trial. When a person is charged with a crime they will, within a short time, go in front of a magistrate. This is where they will be officially arraigned and a bail set or have a preset bail. Once bail is set, different types of bail can be applied, such as:
- PR (personal recognizance) that allows the defendant to be released without fee and by pledging with a signature that they will appear on their scheduled court date to face the charges assigned to them.
- A Cash bond allows the defendant to put up the total amount of the bond set without using a third party. Once the person charged shows up for trial the cash bail amount will be refunded back to the defendant.
- Commercial bonds include a third party, usually known as a bonding agent, who puts up the bond amount for the defendant for a fee.
- A Property bond allows for property owned by the defendant to ensure they are present in court. If the defendant does not show for court, the property can be seized.
When You Can Post Bail After an Arrest
In most cases, bail is straight forward. There are usually pre-set bail amounts assigned to lesser crimes to allow for more speedy bail time. For example, if you are arrested for a misdemeanor crime, the bail may already be set for your charge, at $200. This allows the defendant to skip the arraignment hearing and begin the bail process.
Those who are charged with felonies, however, will usually find no set bail in place. If you are charged with a felony with no preset bail, you must wait for the arraignment hearing to have a bail set by the judge. With a felony charge, bail can take several hours or even days before you will be able to start the bail bonding process. Even with misdemeanor cases, you could be subject to the bonding agent’s schedule or a busy jail staff itself, as to when you can be released on bail. This can dishearten those who have a preset bail and still spend hours waiting to be released from jail.
PRO TIP: Read this post on what to do if arrested. This will help you better understand the steps you should take in any situation.
What to Do Once Bail Is Set
The best-case scenario is that you have an attorney who can help you through the bond process. Most will only have access to a commercial bond at this time and go through an agent. With an attorney, you have most of the bail options above available for you, as your attorney may be able to ask for PR bail or start the process for a property bond, while you are in jail. Your attorney can help speed the process and have you back home much faster than those who try to take care of the process themselves.
What To Do Once Released on Bail
Once you are released on bail, there are a few things that you absolutely should not do.
- Skip your court date: Missing your assigned court date will not only find you losing any bail money or property that you put up for collateral, but a warrant will also be issued for your arrest for not appearing.
- Get arrested again: Once out on bail, you must maintain your freedom by not getting charged with another crime. If this happens, you could find your original bail canceled and no way to get out of jail until your case is settled in court.
- Fail to check in with the bail agent: Most bail agents have rules that require you to check in with them on a regular schedule. This may include a phone call or an in-person visit. Either way, if you miss an appointment you can find your bail revoked and a warrant issued for your arrest.
Getting released on bail is available to almost anyone charged with a crime. Bail will be either pre-set or set by a judge after you have been arrested. Preset bails make it easier and faster to be released from jail, but how fast is determined by factors such as how busy the jail or bonding agent is at the time. For felony charges, you may face several hours or days before being released. There are several rules to follow after making bail that must be obeyed or you will find yourself back in jail awaiting trial.
If you are looking for a criminal defense attorney with the experience and reputation to help you with your case, Barkemeyer Law Firm is the firm to call. We help thousands of individuals just like you and look forward to speaking to you.
We hope you have learned a little bit about when you can post bail after an arrest and wish you luck with your case.