Getting arrested can be quite stressful for you and your family. If the arrest leads to a trial, the court may release you on bail while awaiting the outcome of your case. This can be a welcome decision so you can carry on with your life and provide for your loved ones while the legal process is underway.
However, bail is never an acquittal. Just because you are out on bail does not mean that you can do what you want. Here are two common, yet serious, mistakes that you need to avoid while out on bail.
Skipping your court dates
Before your case is resolved, it is important that you make court appearances your top priority while out on bail. Of course, things happen. If you foresee a genuine issue that might prevent you from showing up in court, be sure to notify the court as well as your bail bondman in time. Skipping your court dates can lead to serious problems such as forfeiture of your bail money. It can also lead to your arrest and incarceration for the remainder of your trial period.
Ignoring your bail terms
Based on what you are charged with, the court may release you on bail. Alongside the nature of the crime, your bail terms will be set based on your ties to your community, criminal history and mental state. The presiding judge as well as your legal counsel will usually explain the bail terms to you before release. Possible bail conditions might include:
- Not contacting your accuser if you have been charged with domestic violence
- Not traveling out of state without prior authorization by the court
- Not discussing the charge with anyone, including giving press interviews
It is in your best interest that you observe the conditions set out by the court for your bail.
Getting arrested and charged with a crime is quite scary. Find out how you can protect your rights and defend yourself if you are charged with a criminal offense.