Most people know that sinking feeling that visits their stomach when they see flashing blue lights in their rear-view mirror. Fortunately, in America, the majority of people arrested for a crime will be eligible for bail, but there are usually conditions that must be abided by for them to be released. Due to the seriousness of these conditions, it’s imperative for everyone to understand them.
What are Bail Conditions?
Bail conditions are exactly what their name implies: conditions of bail. The courts will usually grant bail, and many states – such as California – actually have bail bond schedules that allow a person to post a predetermined bail amount without even having to see a judge. As your local agent at Bail Hotline will tell you, whenever someone receives bail there are always conditions. One of these conditions is that you cannot be charged with more crimes, but in some cases further conditions may apply.
Anyone who watches crime dramas on television has likely seen a judge order a rich offender to surrender their passport as a condition of bail. This is an actual condition that can be imposed, and it’s meant to prevent the accused from fleeing the country. Another condition could be to stay away from a specific person or area.
Still another condition could be to refrain from drinking alcohol. Many of these conditions wouldn’t normally be constitutional to demand, but since bail is seen as a privilege, these conditions can be looked at merely as requests upon which a person’s bail is contingent.
Common Charges that Result in Bail Conditions
There are a variety of charges that can result in bail conditions that are more serious than the usual “don’t break the law again” condition. In cases of stalking or abuse, for instance, a defendant may be required to cease any contact with the alleged victim. In capital cases, a judge will likely require that a person not leave the local area or have contact with anyone involved in the case.
Other crimes, which some may look at as minor compared to the aforementioned, may cause a judge to impose a condition such as drinking alcohol when charged with a DUI. There are also many crimes, such as drug or juvenile offenses, that could require the accused to stay at a particular residence while awaiting trial. It’s important to note, however, that not all of these charges will automatically result in the stated conditions.
Seriousness of Bail Condition Violations
Violation of a condition of bail is a very serious matter, and it can easily result in harsh consequences. Most people who violate these conditions are rearrested and have to wait to see a judge before they can receive bail again – and the judge will not look kindly on the fact that they violated their original conditions.
Another serious repercussion is the fact that new charges may be filed related to the violation, and this can result in an even higher bail amount than the original. Violation of a bail condition, in many cases, will result in the forfeiture of the originally posted bail amount.
Bail conditions are not to be taken lightly. Though the criminal justice system is set up in a way that allows most accused people to wait for their trial outside of jail, the courts will have no problem rescinding this privilege if conditions are violated. Anyone out on bail should fully understand their conditions, or ask their bail bond agent to explain them. This will ensure the best possible outcome for all parties involved.