When a person commits a crime, the criminal process starts with being arrested, booked, and placed in jail. While being booked, oftentimes the first thing going through his or her mind is, “How do I get out of here?”
In Muscogee County, it’s likely that a bail amount will be set after booking, allowing a person convicted of a crime to remain out of jail while awaiting trial.
Getting out of jail requires payment of bail, which is a monetary amount set by a judge in exchange for release. Bail can be paid in several ways:
- Paying a set amount by cash or check
- Signing over property rights
- Providing a written statement that the defendant will appear in court, otherwise known as “own recognizance” or no-cost bail
Additionally, the defendant can use a professional bondsman to help pay the bail (in exchange for added fees).
Since bail is required for release, it’s critical to know the bail amount as soon as possible. However, if booked on a Friday, a judge may not set bail until the following Monday.
Bail & the Eighth Amendment
The Eighth Amendment states that a defendant should not be required to pay excessive bail, which prevents the government from using bail to make money or implementing it as punishment. However, judges do often use high bail amounts to prevent people from getting out of jail easily, particularly those accused of serious crimes such as murder.
If bail is unreasonably high, judges may lower bail amounts based on the defendant’s financial situation.
Posting bail is one of the first issues a defendant will have to face after being convicted of a crime. To learn more about legal proceedings in Muscogee County, call Wadkins & Wallace at (706) 221-9451 or schedule a free consultation online.
For more information on bail procedures, visit our other blog posts: