The Process Of Posting Bail In The State Of New York

Interviewer: How does bail work? How's it set and do I have to pay it all in cash? Can I get it back?

Glen Malia: Bail can be set at two different places. For any misdemeanor and for any E Felony. The police officers can actually set the bail. Actually, for a minute let me back up. There's two different levels of bail. One is effectively being released without bail. That's called, "Release on own recognizance" or referred to as ROR. That's where, technically, you're not posting any bail, but technically under the law it's deemed to be bail. It's ROR. Then there's the money bail. The police can set the bail, like I said, on any misdemeanor or any Class E Felony, and you can post it by cash at the police department right there so they never even have to take you down to the county jail, or if you get brought down to the county jail, someone can post it by cash at the county jail.

If The Police Set Excessive Bail A Court Has the Authority to Reduce It

Now, there's also the bail that can be set by the court. If the police don't set bail for you and/or the police set too much bail, the court's got the ability to reduce the bail, and when the court sets bail, the court sets a cash bail, and they will set what's called a "Bond Alternative." That's the bail bond. Bail bond is basically an insurance company policy where the bail bondsman is insuring that you will return to court when you go to court. The way a bail bond works is like every other insurance policy. You pay the premium and it's usually approximately 10% of the total amount of the bail. Let's say the judge has $25,000 bail and let's say a $25,000 bail bond. You have to post a $25,000 bail bond. The premium is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,500 plus you've got to be able to present or your family has got to be able to present to the insurance company, the bail bondsman, some sort of security.

What Does The Court Look At In Terms of Setting the Bail?

The perfect example is, a husband and wife own a house and their son gets arrested and you have to post $25,000, and $25,000 bail cash or bond, and they don't have $25,000 cash but they have a house and they have more than $25,000 of equity in the house, so they can go to the bail bondsman and get a bail bond presenting the security of their house, and they pay the premium and then the bail bondsman, the insurance company, goes to the judge and presents the paperwork showing, "Yeah, he's posted this with us and we now will insure that he doesn't come back to court. Bail bond can only be ordered by a judge and that's the other level now. What does the court look at in terms of setting the bail? That's sometimes even more important than the actual bail and stuff like that, because once again, imaginary where your past comes into play. The number one fact that the courts look at is your likelihood to return to court to face these charges, so they look at the seriousness of the charge. They can look at the level of proof that the prosecution may present during a bail hearing.

The Two Main Types of Bail in New York State are the Cash Bail and the Bail Bond

They'll look at your past background, so then he's looking at past background also gives insight into what type of sentence you may serve. If you're looking at going to state prison for ten years if you get convicted, the bail is going to be much higher than if you're looking at, and if it's your first offense of petty larceny or something of that nature, where you're not likely to legitimately looking at going to jail, so you look at all those factors. The two main bails in New York State are either the cash bail or the bail bond, and when the police set the bail it's only cash. The court will set a cash bail and they will also set a bond alternative so that someone that doesn't have a full amount of cash may be able to get out of jail by posting that bond.

Malia Law, LLC located in Cortlandt Manor, NY represents Landlords/Tenants throughout Westchester County, Putnam County and Southern Dutchess County, NY.

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