When you are accused of a crime, you may post a bail so you can be released temporarily while you are waiting for trial. That is if the crime you committed is bailable under the law.
Before the court grants your bail request, a bail hearing is first conducted to determine the amount that you have to pay depending on the seriousness of the crime you committed. This could be your first appearance in court after your arrest.
Present during the bail hearing is the judge, the prosecutor, and your legal counsel.
Both your legal counsel and the prosecutor will make recommendations about the bond but it is the judge who will decide on the type of bond and the amount of bail that you have to pay.
Bails can be given in cash or property, or in the form of a written promise, depending on the severity of the crime you are charged with. Most often, misdemeanors are given lower cash bond compared to serious offenses.
If you are scheduled to appear for a bail hearing, be prepared to answer possible questions from the judge.
The judge may ask personal questions related to your family, work, properties, health conditions and criminal history and record.
The judge specifically wants to know the people who will live with you the moment you will be out of jail to determine your commitment to stay out of trouble while on bail.
The judge may also ask you about the company that you are working for, your duties and responsibilities, hours of work and the number of years that you are with the company.
If you can’t produce cash to pay for the bail, the judge may ask about the properties that you own like cars and real estates because these may be pledged as bail.
Judges are more specific about a defendant’s criminal record or history of drug or alcohol abuse so be sure to answer all questions related to these.
If you have been convicted of another crime, the judge might require a higher bail. Just make sure, to tell the truth, because the judge would know if you have a prior criminal record.
Or if you have an existing warrant for previous crimes, your request for bail will not be approved by the court that issued the warrant is notified and responded.
If the judge has come up with the amount of bail that you need to pay but you think you can’t afford it, you can file a motion to reduce the amount.
The most important thing to do at every bail hearing is, to be honest in your answers because the judge would know if you are lying or not. And this would greatly affect your chances of getting bailed out and be free, for the meantime.