Bail bonds are the surest way to achieve a quick jail release, but there are strings attached. If you or someone you love posts bail, do you know the rules for someone out on bond? Let’s explore how a defendant can remain free while on bond and leave a good impression on the court.
How to Keep Your Freedom While Out on Bond
Every judge and court in the country is willing to set bail depending on the nature of the act. However, there are conditions. A defendant must adhere to all of the rules; otherwise, they risk law enforcement knocking on their door.
Typical Bail Conditions
Thankfully, your lawyer, bail bond agent, and the judge will explain the bail conditions for you. While out on bail, you must:
- Obey all laws while on release
Everything. Do not give any local law enforcement any reason to fine you or arrest you while you’re on bail. You should be the model citizen.
- Keep away from drugs and alcohol and/or undergo regular testing for illicit substances
It is entirely possible for the court to order a random drug test while you’re out on bail. Furthermore, you’ll undergo drug testing at court, before your trial, so avoiding an illicit substances is better for your character.
- Do not possess a weapon of any kind on your person or in your home
While the definition of a weapon is subject to change depending on the person, you’re better off steering clear of any firearms, bladed weapons, and blunt objects. For example, avoid brandishing large knives outside of a kitchen, do not carry a firearm, and keep the baseball bat in the dugout.
- Steer clear of certain individuals and places, including known gang-related hangouts, bars, and anyone involved in the current case
The more you’re around other criminal elements, the more likely you are to make a mistake. It’s better not to put yourself in that situation whatsoever.
- Maintain or seek employment
By finding and holding a job, you show the judge and court that you’re working to better yourself and be a stable part of the community. Furthermore, your boss may wind up a character witness if you work hard and prove yourself.
- Stick to a firm curfew each night
In Fort Worth and Tarrant County, the curfew is firmly in place at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. On Friday and Saturday night, the curfew is 12:01 a.m.
- Comply with all travel restrictions set forth by the court
In most cases, the judge will determine what travel restrictions to set based on the nature of the offense. For violent crime, it’s likely the judge will bar any travel outside of the county. Some, however, are more lenient. You’ll be asked not to leave the state, for example.
It’s important to note that the judge may not require all of these conditions. Some factors come into play here, such as criminal history, physical and mental health, the nature of the crime, the likelihood of an escape attempt, and any history of substance abuse. With this information, the judge will either be stricter or more lenient in their requirements.
Violating Bail Conditions
Of course, it is entirely possible to violate bail conditions and wind up behind bars until trial. In this case, the judge has a few options. They may:
- Provide the defendant with a warning
- Issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest
- Revoke bail
- Impose additional bail conditions
- Increase the bail amount
- Hold the defendant in contempt of court
It is in everyone’s best interest for the defendant to stick to their bail conditions and avoid any trouble with the judge or local law enforcement. Doing so often ensures the court looks favorably upon the case too.
Show up to Court
The one bail bond condition that no one will budge on is that the defendant must appear in court on their court-appointed dates for trial. If the defendant does not appear in court, they may be held in contempt, or an active warrant will be put out for their arrest.
The bail bond agent overseeing the case will likely work with the defendant to ensure all court dates are met. They now have a vested interest in the case. A loved one, such as family or friends, can also help to ensure the defendant does not miss a date.
What Happens When a Defendant Is Rearrested?
If the defendant commits a crime while out on bond and is rearrested by local law enforcement, the court will be strict. Once the defendant is in custody, they surrender their bond and terminate all liability.
However, if anyone surrenders the bond, the premium will be lost. If the defendant needs to post bail again, they’ll need another bond. Getting rearrested can get expensive.