If you or a loved one has been arrested and now has questions about bail and bail bonds, contact a Columbus criminal defense attorney from Luftman, Heck & Associates. We can represent you in court, request no bail or a reduced amount, and help you obtain a bail bond if necessary.
After being arrested and booked into jail in Columbus, the court will set an amount of money you must pay to be released from prison while your case goes through the Ohio criminal court system. This payment to the court is meant to ensure you return for your future court dates and do not hide or flee the state. Your bail amount can be paid in cash or through a bond. If you and your family can afford the bail, it is likely that you will pay it in cash as soon as possible. If you attend court when required, at the end of your case you will receive your money back. However, bail can be set at thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars, making it extremely hard to pay in one lump sum. That is why bail bonds exist.
Call our Columbus criminal defense law firm today at (614) 500-3836 to schedule a consultation.
How Is Bail Amount Determined
Some jurisdictions will have a bail schedule for certain misdemeanor charges. This is usually for relatively minor offenses. When there is a bail schedule, you do not have to go before a judge to have the amount set. The police will know the bail amount and you may be entitled to pay it with cash or a bond after you have been officially charged and processed by the police. This means you are able to leave jail prior to going before a judge for an arraignment in Columbus. You will likely have to attend a court hearing within a couple of days of your release.
If a bail schedule does not apply to your situation, then you will have to wait to go before a judge to find out if you can be released on bail, and if so, the bail amount. It can take up to three days to go before a judge. At this time, you will be told the charges against you, reminded of your right to a Columbus criminal defense attorney, given the option to ask for a public defender, and have bail set.
To determine bail, a judge will consider:
- Any pertinent bail schedule
- The specific charges
- Whether it was a violent or non-violent crime
- Your criminal history, including any outstanding warrants for your arrest
- Any risk to public safety
- Your ties to the community
- Your physical and financial ability to flea
- The likelihood of your attending your court appearances
Different Types of Bail Explained
You can obtain a bond through the court system or a licensed bail bondsman – which is usually a business and not an individual.
A recognizance bond is achieved through the court system and is also known as a personal bond, since it is a personal promise that you will come back to court. You may have heard of individuals being released on their own recognizance. This type of bond is usually available if you are charged with a non-violent crime, do not have a criminal history, and are not deemed a flight risk. You do not have to pay any money upfront. However, if you do not come back to court, a judgment will be entered against you in the bail amount and you will owe the court that money.
You may be able to obtain a bail bond through the Central Ohio court system by paying 10 percent of the bail amount. If you go to court hearings when required, at the end of your case you will receive all or a percentage of your deposit back. The amount returned to you may depend on how the case is resolved. If you do not attend court when you should, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and your deposit will be kept by the court.
A surety bond is generally obtained through a bail bondsman. You pay a portion of the amount, usually 10 percent plus administrative fees to the bondsman, and then it issues an insurance policy to the court stating the full amount will be paid if you fail to go to your hearings. Once your case is concluded, you will not receive the money you paid to the bail agency back.
For additional information on the differences between a bail and bond, read our blog post.
When a Court May Refuse You Bail
While a judge may have the discretion to release you from jail without requiring bail, conversely there are times when judges can refuse to release you on bail at all. You may be required to remain in jail while your case proceeds through the Central Ohio court system. A judge cannot deny you bail for any reason. There must be a legitimate concern with facts to back it up.
You may be denied bail if:
- There is evidence that you are likely and capable of fleeing the jurisdiction
- You are charged with a violent or sexual offense
- You are charged with a serious felony, whether or not it is a violent crime
- The death penalty is a possible punishment for the offense
- The judge is concerned for the public’s safety
- You were charged with this crime while on probation or parole
Need Getting Out of Jail after You Have Been Arrested? Call LHA
If you are facing criminal charges and want to be released from jail as soon as possible, call the experienced Columbus criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates right away. Our Columbus criminal defense law firm with an office in Dublin will strive for you to be released from jail so that you can be with your family while going through the criminal court process. We will also listen to your side of the events, investigate the situation, gather evidence on your behalf, and build you the strongest defense in Columbus possible.