When you think of Salt Lake City Bail, you think of the TV version. Judge tells a court room full of people “Bail will be set at $200,000” bangs his gavel and bam! Done! The person accused looks all upset, not sure if he/she is guilty or not you wonder how in the world they are going to come up with $200,000, I mean no one has that kind of money just lying around…right? Then all of a sudden the character is out of jail and on with the show it goes…you sit there wondering how in the world he/she got out? How did he/she come up with that kind of cash? How could they let him/her out with those charges? TV is completely fake…right?
How Does Salt Lake City Bail Work?
Bail works by releasing the accused in exchange for cash, bond or property given to the court by the accused or someone the accused knows personally. This is held until all the court proceedings and a trial for this specific case surrounding this accused person is completed. The accused must appear in court to receive this “bail” back.
Most trials start weeks or months after the original arrest. If it wasn’t for bail, most of the people arrested would sit in jail waiting for their trials to begin. Most people who get stuck in jail because they can’t afford bail, miss work, their families and many other things that a lot of us take for granted. At the bare minimum this is a financial hardship on the suspect to be in jail. So posting bail is best suited for most people so they can continue with their lives while at the same time working on their defense.
When Is Bail Available?
When someone is arrested they are first taken to the police station and booked and processed and all of their information is logged, criminal background checked, fingerprints and mug shots taken, etc… (just like the movies). All of their personal property that is on the arrested party is in fact taken off of them and returned to them when they are released, except for their cash which is given to them in check form here in Salt Lake City. For lesser offense crimes there are standard bail amounts set so people can be out of jail sooner without having to go to an arraignment hearing. Usually the wait time is 48 hours to be presented before a judge to get bail set, if they are eligible.
How Much Is Bail?
The amount of bail depends solely on the severity of the crime committed and also at the judge’s discretion. However the Eighth amendment does protect everyone against excessive amount of bail. Bail can be asked to be reduced if it just too high of an amount to be paid, but you would have to wait for arraignment to get that done.
Different Kinds of Bail
There are different kinds of bail also. Cash bail mean that the defendant pay the full amount of bail in cash, sometimes credit card. If the bail is $100,000, you pay $100,000. Release on Citation is where an officer releases a suspect on a “ticket” only and states they MUST appear in court this way there is no booking process or anything, this also makes it so the officer can focus on more serious offenders. Property Bond is when some kind of property can act as the bond. Essentially a lien or legal claim is put on some kind of property that is worth the amount of the bail, if the defendant doesn’t show to court, the court takes the property, forecloses on it and takes the money to recover the forfeited bail.
Surety bond is the most popular and the most widely used form of bail. Also called a bail bond. This can be used for ANY amount of bail, and typically used if you or anyone can’t afford to pay the bail. Usually involves friends or family of the defendant contacting a bail bondsman (or agent). These agents are backed by a special type of insurance company called Surety Company and pledge to pay the full value of the bond if the defendant doesn’t appear in court. In return the bondsman charges a 10% fee or collateral of some kind for the bond. Essentially if the bail is $100,000 they would charge whoever is getting the bond $10,000. This could be cash, loan on their car, jewelry, or anything up to that value. Getting friends and family involved, bondsman hope that compels the defendant to make their court appearances and not “jump” or “skip” bail. If the defendant jumps or skips bail, then the bail bondsman is required to pay the bond directly.
What Happens If a Person on Bail Doesn't Appear In Court?
For this type of situation, the suggestion of watching a few episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter comes to mind and you will get an idea of why skipping or jumping bail is a bad idea. The defendant typically ends up back in jail.
Is Bail the Only Option?
Lastly there is Release on Own Recognizance or ROR essentially means someone has enough ties to the community, is a responsible enough person, a minor, someone that committed a non-violent crime, not considered a danger to anyone and isn’t a “flight risk” meaning they won’t be leaving the state anytime soon, so they can be released without any kind of money or property or bond exchanging hands.
- 8 Things to Look For When Choosing a Bail Bonds Company - April 15, 2021
- Holiday Arrests: How to Get Your Loved One Out of Jail Quickly - November 9, 2020
- Can You Post Bail on a Probation Violation? - September 22, 2020