Understanding How Bail Works

Bail is not punishment for an infraction. It is simply a way for the courts to ensure the person in question will return for a scheduled court date. Paying bail does not mean admitting guilt. Think of it instead as a placeholder, a bit like an IOU. Paying bail tells the court system that an individual promises to return for their court date. When all bail conditions are met, that money is released back to the payer. If the individual fails to show up for their court date — or does not meet any of the other bail conditions — the bail is forfeited. Bail and bonds are simply the court’s way of making sure individuals show up to court, but do not have to wait in jail until that date comes.

Nobody ever said navigating the bail process was easy, especially here in Oklahoma. The process starts when a warrant is out for your arrest or if you’ve been arrested.

  • If a warrant has been issued, contact us! Our team can set up a “walk-thru,” where instead of an arrest, you can surrender yourself to the jail for booking.
  • This is the fastest way to get out of jail on bond since you’ll be eligible for preliminary bail.
  • If you’ve been arrested, you’ll be arraigned after you’re booked in jail. This means you’ll stand before a judge and they will set your bail bond amount.
  • The amount depends on the severity of the crime. With a misdemeanor, which is a less serious category of crime than a felony, your bond will be lower.
  • Also, your criminal record, work history, community involvement, and the likelihood of you either fleeing or causing harm will all factor into the amount of your bail.
  • Sometimes, in high-stakes cases, bail is not awarded. This usually happens with either serious crimes like murder, or the judge feels there’s a high probability that you’ll flee.
  • To get out on bond, you’ll often pay about 10 percent of the bond to your bondsman. You’ll need a co-signer, which is a person who can pay the fee if you cannot.
  • Your bondsman will schedule a “walk-thru,” at the jail, which typically takes about 45 minutes, before you can post your bond.
  • After you’ve been released, you’ll meet with your bondsman. They will sign their part of the agreement, as well as set conditions for the release.
  • From there, you can go home, but you can’t do whatever you want. You’ll have to check in by phone with your bondsman once per week, and they will set guidelines you must follow while the legal process does what it needs to do.

Need help? That’s what we’re here for. Contact us online or by phone today.