After your arrest, you have the option of posting bond so that you may leave jail until your trial and sentencing (if you are found guilty of the offense). Bond isn't intended to punish the defendant; rather, the main goal of bail it to make sure the defendant attends all of their court dates. After you fulfill all of your court obligations, your bond is returned.
Instead of posting the full amount of bail, you can use a bail bond service that permits you to pay a small percentage of the bail. The bail bond company takes care of the remaining balance. To stay out of jail on bail, you might have to adhere to a set of guidelines. Here are some of the most common conditions that might accompany your bail bond.
1. Restrictions Concerning Travel
Most likely, you will have some type of restrictions concerning your travel. Some courts require defendants to stay within a certain area from their physical address, while others have more generic travel guidelines.
You may not be allowed to leave the country or even your state unless you have prior permission to do so. Whether or not you receive permission for restricted travel depends on the reason for the travel and the severity of your charges. For example, travel for business reasons or a funeral is more likely to be approved than travel for personal reasons.
2. Rules Concerning the Defendant's Lifestyle
You might be ordered to live a certain way while you await your court date. The judge may order you to avoid using drugs or alcohol during your pre-trial period; you may have to adhere to regular drug tests or alcohol monitoring to ensure your compliance. You might be ordered to maintain your employment or if unemployed, to search for employment opportunities.
If your charges involve other individuals, you might have to follow a no-contact order that limits you from contacting those you are accused of victimizing. There might also be restrictions regarding whether or not you can possess, own, or be in the vicinity of firearms.
3. Requirements for Periodic Check-ins
While you wait for your court date, you will likely be assigned a pretrial officer. It might take months for your court date to arrive, or it might be pushed back due to delays in your case. Periodic check-ins help the court keep tabs on you while you are out on your bail bond. Make sure to attend all of these check-ins. If you miss one, the judge can revoke your bail.