In Minnesota, there are three different ways to secure your release from jail. Each becomes available after a bail hearing.
One way is for the judge to release you on recognizance. This means that he will release you on your promise to appear in court every time you are summoned, and to comply with any other conditions he may set for your release. This is most likely to happen when the charges are relatively minor, or if you’ve never been charged before.
It’s more common for the judge to set a bail amount. If the crime is very serious or if you’re considered a flight risk you can expect that bail amount to be relatively expensive.
Once the bail amount is set you can post bail one of two ways. The first way is to pay the amount in cash.
If you do this there is a chance you will get all or some of your money back. You will get it all back if:
- You attend every court date.
- You comply with all of the conditions of your release.
- You are found not guilty.
You may get some of the money back even if you are declared guilty, so long as you complied with your court dates and met all of the conditions of your release. However, court fees, fines, and restitution amounts will be deducted from the bail amount first.
If you can’t pay the bail in cash you have the option of working with a bail bondsman. If you take this option you will pay just 10% of the bail amount to the bondsman.
The bondsman will then pay the court the full bail amount. If you fail to appear in court as ordered you will owe the rest of the money to the bondsman, who will have a vested interest in tracking you down and turning you in. If you do comply you’ll owe nothing, but you won’t see a refund of your money, either.
You should make the decision that best fits your financial realities, keeping in mind that you may need some of your funds to hire the best legal representation that you can afford. In fact, having good representation should be your first concern, even before you consider bail. Pre-trial incarceration is short-term. The results of your trial, however, can bring long-term incarceration along with other consequences.
If you are facing criminal charges, call us today! The criminal justice system is full of pitfalls. Don’t try to navigate it alone.