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How can a person be released from jail while a case is pending?

Posted by Bulldog Law | Mar 17, 2024 | 0 Comments

A person who's charged with a crime likely won't want to sit in jail while their case moves through the criminal justice system. Instead, they'll want to be released so they can continue to live life until the case is resolved.

There are a few ways that a person can secure a release. Understanding these is critical for anyone in this position.

Personal recognizance

Being released on one's own recognizance means that after being charged with a crime, an individual can go free without paying bail. This decision is based on the court's assessment that the person isn't a flight risk and doesn't pose a danger to the community. Factors influencing this decision can include the nature and seriousness of the alleged crime, the individual's ties to the community, employment status and criminal history.

When released on their own recognizance, the person must sign a written promise to appear in court for all scheduled appearances. They may be subject to specific conditions imposed by the court.


Bail is a set amount of money that acts as insurance between the court and the person accused of a crime. The court sets the bail amount, and if the accused can pay, they are released from jail on the condition that they return for their court appearances.

Bail amounts can vary widely depending on the severity of the crime, the individual's previous criminal record and the risk of fleeing. If the accused attends all court dates, the bail money is returned after the case concludes, minus any fees or fines. If they fail to appear, the bail is forfeited, and a warrant for their arrest is issued.


When a defendant can't afford to pay bail, they may secure a bond through a bail bond agency. A bond is a type of surety loan provided by a third party, typically a bail bond company, which agrees to pay the full bail amount if the accused fails to appear in court. In return, the accused pays a non-refundable fee to the bail bond company, usually about 10% of the total bail amount. A bond agency may also require collateral, such as property or a car, to secure the bond. This system allows individuals who can't afford the full bail amount to be released from jail while awaiting trial.

It's critical for anyone facing criminal charges to obtain legal guidance. In some cases, a bail hearing is necessary. Having someone to explain the process and provide representation is beneficial for a defendant.

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