Can I Be With My Family for Christmas After an Arrest?
Posted on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 at 12:56 pm
People get arrested every day of the year, especially for crimes like assault and battery, DUI, and drug possession. Just because it’s the holidays, it doesn’t mean the police take a break and stop arresting people. If you find yourself arrested during the holidays and Christmas is getting close, you may wonder, “Can I be with my family for Christmas after an arrest?” Read on to learn more.
Once someone is arrested, they have a one-track mind; all they think about is getting out. In most cases, a suspect accomplishes this by posting bail. Bail is defined by the American Bar Association as, “…the amount of money defendants must post to be released from custody until their trial.
“Bail is not a fine. It is not supposed to be used as punishment. The purpose of bail is simply to ensure that defendants will appear for trial and all pretrial hearings for which they must be present. Bail is returned to defendants when their trial is over, in some states minus a processing fee.”
Setting the Bail Amount
When someone is arrested, the judge decides on how much bail to set. To do this, the judge will consider several factors, including the defendant’s flight risk if any, the type of crime the person is being accused of, how dangerous the defendant is, and the community’s safety. For example, if someone is accused of child molestation and they have a history of sex crimes, their bail will likely be set much higher than it would be for someone with a first DUI offense and no criminal record.
If you are arrested, your first question should be, “How much is my bail amount?” If you’re not able to get in front of a judge right away, you could end up spending up to several days in jail, especially if you’re arrested on a Friday. In the case of a Friday arrest, the earliest a judge may be able to set your bail is on Monday. However, it’s not uncommon for many types of everyday crimes to have a standard bail amount attached, and it’s as simple as paying whatever the attached bail amount is.
If you face charges for a serious violent felony, don’t be surprised if the judge sets an extremely high bail amount, which prevents you from bailing out. Sometimes, bail can be set at a reasonable amount, but the arrestee still can’t afford it. If this happens to you, you will have to wait and ask the judge if he or she will lower the amount at a bail hearing or during your first court appearance.
How do I post bail?
- By paying cash or check
- By signing over your ownership rights to property
- By being released on your own recognizance (no bail required, but you sign a document promising to appear in court when required) the best option
- By giving a bond, which equals the full amount of the bail
When facing criminal charges, especially during the holidays, the last thing you want is to be behind bars, away from your loved ones at Christmas. After all, you’re going to be under a lot of stress and you need their support during the criminal process.