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Loved One Arrested? Four Legal Terms You Need To Know

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The arrest of a loved one can be a traumatic experience that you are most likely NOT prepared for. Not only will you have to experience the physical and emotional stress of them committing a crime, but you will also have to deal with the financial ramifications of these legal troubles. Properly understanding the court and bail process is smart if you want your loved one to be released from jail in the easiest manner possible. This guide on important terms will help you understand the process of bailing your loved one out of jail.


The arraignment is one of the most important terms to know because it addresses your loved one's crime and whether they will be required to stay in jail or they can be released.

This first court hearing allows your loved one to enter a plea, but the arraignment is also where the judge sets the bail amount and states conditions that must be followed upon release. Your loved one will also learn the date of their next court date, which is essential to attend once they are released from jail.


You probably have heard the term "bail" used many times since your loved one has been arrested, but you may not be entirely sure of its meaning.

The bail amount must be paid before your loved one can be released from jail. The actual amount will depend on a few factors, including the nature of the crime and if your loved one has been in trouble with the law previously.

A bail amount of $500 is common for non-violent petty misdemeanors, such as a minor drug possession or drunk and disorderly conduct. For more serious crimes, such as assault or rape, a much larger bail amount will be set.

It is also important to note that very serious crimes, such as drug felonies or murder charges, may prevent your loved one from being released on bail. The judge may not even set a bail due to these crimes, which will result in your loved one remaining in jail throughout the court proceedings and trial.

Bail Bond

Paying a bail amount of a few hundred dollars is possible for most people. However, more severe crimes with higher bail amounts will most likely require help from a bail bondsman.

If you do not have the entire amount for bail, the bondsman will ask for a percentage of the bail as collateral. Then, the bondsman will use the company's own money to pay the courts the full amount of the bail, releasing your loved one from jail.

One of the most important things to remember when securing a bail bond for your loved one is that following legal stipulations is crucial.

Your loved one must follow all rules set into place by the judge during the arraignment. This may involve staying within city/county limits and following through on all appointments and court dates. As long as these guidelines are followed, the bondsman will keep a percentage of the deposit but dissolve the bail bond and release any collateral placed on the bond.


If your loved one does not follow the court-ordered guidelines and missing their court dates, the bonds company will make numerous attempts to locate your loved one and bring them to jail. If your loved one is not found, the bond is forfeited, meaning the court will require the remaining amount of the bail money to be paid immediately. The bail bonds company will use the collateral you put down on the bond in addition to collecting the debts from both your loved one and yourself, since you signed for the bond.

Proper understanding will help you make the right decision when considering to bail your loved one out of jail. These terms are all important to know before you begin the bail process.  For more information, get in touch with a bail bond lawyer such as Raymond Martinez Attorney at Law.