New Jersey Bail and Bond Process
When someone is arrested in New Jersey, they have many concerns. The first, though, is to get out of jail. For many, this involves securing bail. After the arrest, the suspect is booked and then bail will be set. This must be done within twelve hours after the complaint is issued. The bail amount will be set by a magistrate or judge. Because the arrested person wants to be released from jail as quickly as possible, common crimes have standard bail amounts at most jails.
The point of bail is to ensure the arrested person will appear in court on the specified date. Provided the conditions of the bail are adhered to, the defendant will be free on bail. In certain cases there may be no bail set, or if the defendant doesn't have the money to pay for bail, he or she will remain in jail. Whether or not a defendant is allowed to post bail and be released depends on the crime alleged and the prior record of the individual. If it is decided that the community will be unsafe if the defendant is released, bail may not be set.
Options for the Defendant's Release on Bail
The following lists the release options for a defendant:
- R.O.R. (Release on Own Recognizance)—The defendant is released with no pretrial financial security to make sure that the person will come to court on the date of trial. If the crime is considered a minor offense, if the person is known in the community and not considered a danger, or if there is little risk of escape, this is a likely option.
- Cash Bond—When the defendant pays the amount of bail in cash, the person is his or her own guarantor to appear in court. If that support is not met, the cash is forfeited. If the crime is minor (such as a traffic incident), the cash bond is an option.
- Cash with 10%—If 10% of the bail is posted in cash, the rest does not have to be paid unless the defendant fails to appear for the court date.
- Property Bonds—A defendant can use owned property to secure release from jail. A lien is placed on the property for the amount of bail and the defendant is released.
- Bail Bond—For a non-refundable fee, a licensed bail bondsman will place a written guarantee with the court that the defendant will show up for the court appearance.
What Happens After the Defendant is Released on Bail?
When a New Jersey defendant is released on bail, he or she must know and follow the rules attached to their bail.
- They must show up to court on time. If he or she is late, the bail can be forfeited. If the lateness is unavoidable, the defendant should contact the court and the bail company. Being late is far preferable to not showing up.
- The defendant must appear. On the court date, if the defendant doesn't show up to court, a bench warrant for the defendant's arrest will be issued. The person will be classified as a fugitive and the bail agency will try to locate the defendant. Ignoring a court date only exacerbates the initial problem and is not advised.
- The defendant must not flee. This is also known as flight. If the bail bond agency believes the defendant is at risk of flight, they have the right to turn the defendant over to law enforcement. When a defendant flees, the bail bondsman can hire agents to find the defendant and bring the person back.
An Experienced Attorney can Help with Bail
If you have been arrested in Asbury Park, Belmar or anywhere in New Jersey, the experienced and knowledgeable attorneys at the Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey can help you.
The goal of Villani & DeLuca is to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your entire case and that begins with the bail hearing. In a best case scenario, you may be released on your own recognizance without having to post money or any other guarantee that you will appear in court. The firm can assist you whether you're facing a minor offense or you have been designated as a defendant who fled. Whatever the circumstances, you have rights.