Bail and Bond in Oklahoma
Most people are familiar with the terms “bail” and “bond” and have probably seen advertisements for bail-bondsmen in their area. But what do these words actually mean, and what does a bail-bondsman actually do?
Bail vs. Bond
Bail is the court’s way of ensuring that you will show up for your scheduled court date following an arrest. Bail is a sum of money that you must give the court in exchange for being released from jail and as a guarantee that you will come back to appear in court. As long as you return to court for your scheduled appearances, you will receive the bail amount back.
Bond typically includes bail as well as a set of conditions that you must abide by in order to remain out of jail for the duration of your case. For example, if you are charged with DUI, one of your bond conditions may be that you must refrain from alcohol and/or drug use, and you may be ordered to submit to alcohol and drug testing to ensure your sobriety. If you fail one of these tests, you will be considered in violation of your bond and could be sent back to jail.
If you cannot afford to post the full amount of your bail, you may call a bail-bondsman to post the bail for you. Typically, the bail-bondsman charges a percentage of the bond (usually 10-15%) as the fee for his or her services.
Bail and Bond Hearings
The amount of your bail and any bond conditions will be determined at a bail or bond hearing. In order to ensure that your bail amount and bond conditions are fair and appropriate, it is a good idea to have legal representation on your side at the hearing. The United States Constitution mandates that bail must be set at a reasonable amount, but each case is different. Generally, the bail and bond will be determined based on several factors, including:
- Your previous criminal history
- Your mental health
- Whether you have a history of violence or alcohol/substance abuse
- The severity of the crime you have been charged with