Getting Out of Jail After an Arrest

Once a person has been arrested they are taken to jail.  Usually within the next day or two you will be taken to court and a judge will determine if bail will be set and what the conditions of bail will be.  Make no mistake if the judge wishes he can deny you bail and you will spend your time inside a jail cell until your court hearing where several things can happen.

Appearing in Court

You can plead guilty and be sentenced, plead not guilty and be released, or released with certain conditions.  If the judge decides to set bail, the bail amount will depend on several factors.  These factors will include the nature of the crime, if you remain a threat to yourself or others, and the likelihood of you fleeing the jurisdiction.  The higher any of these risk factors are the higher the bond amount will be.  Here is a video showing you what will happen at a bond hearing.

Arrests are confusing and frightening for most people.  You are filled with questions surrounding what you should do and what rights you have.  Your friends and family don’t know whether or not they should get an attorney to represent you.  Here is what happens and what your options are if you or a loved one gets arrested.

Posting Bond

To obtain your release from jail you don’t need a lawyer, but if you are facing criminal charges then that is the time to hire an attorney.  Make sure you hire your lawyer before the first court appearance.  The more time you give your attorney  to familiarize themselves with your case the better.  But to simple get out of jail all you need to do is post bond.

Once a judge has set your bond, that means that you pay a certain amount of money to get released from jail.  If you choose to pay the whole amount up front at the jail, you are released from custody and your money will be returned once you appear in court.  Often bond amounts are too high for the average person to pay all at once and  in this case bail bond services can be used.

Bail Bond Services

If you have to use a bail bonds service, you will only pay a portion of your bail, however that portion is non-refundable.  On the whole a bail bond is more cost effective and convenient and they can get you released from jail at any time.  Being released still comes with obligations, you MUST appear in court and from there your guilt or innocence will be determined.


What Can You Expect from a Public Defender?

If you find yourself facing criminal charges, you are going to need an attorney to defend you.  Before you have to appear in court it is important to know what to expect from a defense attorney.  You have options as to what type of attorney, whether you use a court appointed attorney or hire your own legal counsel it is important to understand what they do.

Court-Appointed Attorneys

If you do not have the financial resources to hire your own attorney you will be given a public defender.  Public defenders are appointed by the court and paid by the government to defend you.  They are fully qualified attorney’s who have passed the bar, but public defenders often carry a stigma that they are less than qualified.  They have all the same training and licenses along with extensive courtroom experience, sometimes more so than a private attorney.  However despite being fully qualified they have extremely heavy caseloads and shouldn’t be the first choice of someone facing a serious criminal charge.

Accepting a Public Defense Lawyer

Once you have been arrested you will be brought to court for an arraignment.  This is your first appearance in court and the charges will be read to you by a judge, then you will be asked for your plea.  This is your chance to plead ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ to the charges that you are facing.  If you have hired private counsel to defend you, your attorney will be present for the plea hearing.  This is also the time where you will be given the chance to arrange for a public defender if you need one.

If you decide you need a public defender you will get one just for the duration of your initial court appearance.  Public defenders are not available to everyone, only those who can demonstrate that they don’t have the funds to pay for a private attorney.  The eligibility to qualify for a public defender will vary from state to state.  Some states will require extensive financial information while others will simply accept that you cannot afford an attorney.

Private Lawyers

Public defenders have an extremely heavy case load, while a private attorney has more time to devote to your case.  This is why public defenders have a reputation for being less competent than private lawyers.  If you are facing serious criminal charges that come with possible jail time you want an attorney that has the time to defend you to the best of their ability.