What Are Your Options for Posting Bail?

Bail is a monetary amount that the court requires and holds to secure a defendant's appearance in court and compliance with court orders and judgments. Posting bail allows your release, and you can remain free from jail while your case is pending trial.

Under the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, courts must assign reasonable bail amounts. Courts can deny bail when the defendant is a flight risk or a danger to the community.

You can put up cash for bail, and the court may require 100 percent of the bail amount. If bail was set at $25,000, you must present the court with $25,000 in cash. However, when the court sets high amounts for bail, accessing or raising a large amount of cash may be unrealistic. An alternative that Arizona courts often allow is bail bond. Bail bond is a financial guarantee from a surety company.

To obtain a bail bond, you must put up collateral to secure the bond, such as your home, car or boat. You pay the bail bond company a percentage of the total bail set, usually 10 percent. In the case of bail set at $25,000, your cost would be $2,500. The advantage of putting up your own bail is that you do not have to pay a bail bond company fee.

Courts set bail during arraignment, which is a pretrial court proceeding during which the judge informs you of your Constitutional right to counsel and you enter your plea. Your attorney has the opportunity to argue on your behalf that no bail is necessary or that the amount should be lowered based on strong community or family ties.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can advocate for your rights early on in the case. This is often vital for a favorable outcome. Choosing the right law firm is an important part of your case.

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