How To Make Bail In New York

by ECL Writer
How To Make Bail In New York

Bail is a common feature of the criminal justice system, and it refers to the monetary amount that a defendant must pay to be released from jail before their trial. However, the process of making bail can be confusing and overwhelming, especially for those who have never been through the legal system before. This is particularly true in New York, where bail laws have recently undergone significant changes. Whether you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in New York and needs to make bail, or you are simply interested in learning more about the process, this guide will provide you with the essential information you need to know about How to make bail in New York. From understanding how bail works in the state to navigating the court system and finding a bail bondsman, this guide will walk you through the steps you need to take to secure your release from jail. So, if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in New York, read on to learn how to make bail and get back to your life as soon as possible.

How New York Bail Works: The First 24 Hours After Arrest

You will probably be brought to the neighborhood police station following an arrest. You can be given an appearance ticket and freed after getting your fingerprints taken and having access to your complete criminal history extracted. The time and date of your upcoming hearing are listed on this ticket. A warrant for your arrest will probably be issued if you don’t show up for the following court date. These appearance tickets should not be taken carelessly!

Not everyone, though, receives an appearance ticket. Those accused of a crime who are not given an appearance ticket often meet with a court in less than 24 hours. Your initial arraignment is where the judge will decide what to do with you moving forward. A judge might choose from a variety of options in response to the accusations brought against the defendant. They consist of:

  • Release: At this initial arraignment, the judge has the option to release you on your own recognizance. That means that you will be released, with the faith that you will return for all hearings and court appearances related to your charges. This is the most lenient option you may face.
  • Detained: In some cases, the judge may decide you shall remain in jail awaiting your trial. This is often the case if the judge feels the prosecution has proven that you are a flight risk or due to the severity of the charges brought against you (ex. You are charged with a violent felony). Being detained is the severest option.
  • Bail: Bail acts as a middle ground between release and detainment. When a judge issues a bail ruling, you can be released once your financial security has been received. Failure to abide by the terms of your bail, however, will result in you being rearrested and jailed while awaiting your trial; you will also lose your financial security should you fail to abide by the bail terms.

Bail Payment Options In New York

There are nine types of bail options at the discretion of the judge. These are:

  • Cash Bail;
  • Insurance Company Bond;
  • Secured Surety Bond;
  • Secured Appearance Bond;
  • Partially Secured Surety Bond;
  • Partially Secured Appearance Bond;
  • Unsecured Surety Bond;
  • Unsecured Appearance Bond; and/or
  • Credit Card.

You should note that, under current New York State laws, at least two forms of bail should be available to a defendant should the judge agree to this option.

Bail vs. Bond

Cash bails and insurance company bonds are the most popular types of bail that judges select. Although you have the choice between the two, cash bail is frequently far less expensive than an insurance company bond. Bond and bail amounts serve as the courts’ equivalent of an insurance policy. At the conclusion of your trial, you will get your bail money back if you follow the conditions of your release on bond. The courts will retain 3% of your bail if you are found guilty. If you are determined to be innocent, you will receive a full refund.

Bonds are a little bit unique. To post a bond, you must locate a reliable, authorized bail bondsman. Many bond agents take substantially less than the whole amount of the required bail. On a $12,000 bond, for instance, you might only need to provide the bondsman a $1,200 deposit. This money won’t be refunded to you, unlike bail. This initial deposit is often kept by the bond agent as your bond payment. You can be obligated to pay the remaining balance on the bond amount if the conditions of the bond are not met and the courts do not restore this money to the bondsman.

Paying Your Bail In New York

You must pay this sum before being released from custody following the judge’s determination of your eligibility for bail and an explanation of your available options. If you are unable to make the required payment, you will be detained in custody until either you have the means to post bail or your trial date arrives.

New York State provides two options for making your payment: in person or online, depending on whether you have obtained a bail or bond option. Bail can be posted via cash, money orders, cashier’s checks, credit/debit cards, or a combination of these. Please be aware that we do not take personal checks. If you choose to make your payment in person, bail is accepted at numerous detention facilities around the clock, seven days a week. You will need to provide your identity, as well as the person’s name and case or booking number, if you are posting bail on their behalf. After securing your deposit in the case of a bond, a professional bail bondsman will need to make the payment arrangements.

Bail Reform

Over 33,000 people who were accused of crimes in 2017 were unable to post the needed bond because they could not afford the sum. The New York State legislation formally acknowledged this at the beginning of April 2019. They have responded by passing legislation that will make cash bail unavailable for practically all misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. In fact, rather than waiting for a court hearing, an appearance ticket will be given in the majority of these situations.

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