The Use of Bail in Criminal Cases
When an individual stands accused of a crime, the court may determine that he or she is not a significant flight risk and may allow the person to remain free from prison until the trial has concluded and the final verdict has been decided. Accused individuals are often released from jail after posting "bail" which is typically a deposit of money that is held as a promise to return to court at a specified time.
Individuals who commit serious crimes may be denied bail by the presiding judge, because he or she may find them to be a danger to society, fears they may flee before trial, or for any number of reasons that may give the judge cause for concern. The judge may also determine the amount of bail the individual needs to post to be freed, and may choose to place the bail very high to discourage flight or other suspicious activity.
High-dollar bail amounts may discourage or prevent individuals from being able to post bail and be freed while awaiting trial. Family members, friends, and other associates often pool resources to try to meet the bail requirements and free the individual in question, but if the bail is too high to meet, the person will most likely remain incarcerated until the trial is complete. There are provisions that prohibit judges from assigning "excessive bail", meaning that they should set bail within reason depending on the nature of the crime committed.
Judges may also examine the source of the bail money and may refuse to allow suspicious funds to be used for bail purposes. If it can be proved that the money was feloniously obtained, the court may require that the bail money come from an alternate source.
Bail is not used to punish the person accused of a crime, it is only meant to secure and guarantee his or her appearance in court. If the individual appears at all required court dates and does not jeopardize the conditions of his or her bail, the funds should be released at the conclusion of the trial without issue.
Individuals accused of crimes have the right to an attorney and may be eligible for bail in the event of a criminal trial. If you would like more information regarding criminal defense and the procedures for obtaining bail, visit the website of the Appleton criminal defense attorneys of Kohler, Hart & Priebe.