When someone is out on bond, they’re essentially given a temporary reprieve from incarceration while awaiting trial or further court proceedings. However, this freedom comes with specific conditions that one must adhere to. For individuals and their families unfamiliar with the process, it can be confusing.
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.
Out on Bond Rules
If you have been released on bond, there are several rules you need to follow. Keep in mind that the rules might be different depending on the crime with which you have been charged, and it is important for you to follow the rules to avoid having your bond revoked. Some of the most common rules you need to follow include:
- You are not allowed to leave the state without permission. If you are required to leave the state as a condition of your defense, you may be allowed to do so, but you need to reach out to the prosecutor to get approval,
- You are required to show up to all of your court hearings. If you do not show up to court, a warrant could be issued for your arrest.
- If there is a victim in the alleged crime, you need to stay away from them, their home, their school, and their work.
- You are generally not allowed to communicate with the alleged victim either.
- There is a chance that you might be required to wear a GPS monitoring device, and if so, you need to wear it.
- You might also be required to refrain from drinking alcohol if your alleged crime involves alcohol or drugs.
- You might also be required to surrender your passport as a condition of your release.
It is much easier for you to form a defense when you can communicate with your lawyer freely. That means you need to do everything you can to stay out on bond. If you violate any of the conditions above, you could have your bond revoked, and that might mean that you are required to stay in jail until the conclusion of your trial.
Being out on bond offers a chance to build a positive case for oneself. By adhering to the rules and engaging in constructive activities, you not only improve your personal life but also present a responsible image in court.
What Can You Do While You’re Out on Bail?
Being out on bond does not mean you have to put your life on hold. There are several positive and constructive activities you can engage in:
- Find and Maintain Employment: Demonstrating responsibility is crucial. If you had a job before your arrest, and your employer is understanding of the situation, it would be advisable to return to work. If not, seek new employment. Having stable employment portrays you as a responsible and contributing member of society.
- Travel (with certain limitations): Generally, you’re allowed to travel within your state while out on bond. Unless explicitly mentioned in your bail conditions, you might also be permitted to travel to other states. However, international travels are usually off-limits.
- Engage in Hobbies and Interests: Use this time to invest in personal growth. Engage in legal hobbies and activities that you love. This not only helps in personal development but also showcases a positive image in court.
What Can’t You Do While You’re Out on Bail?
While there’s a fair degree of freedom when one is out on bond, there are certain non-negotiables that one must be aware of:
- Never Miss Court Dates: This is paramount. Missing a court date will result in your bail being forfeited. A warrant for your arrest will be issued, and the person or agency that bailed you out will be at a financial loss.
- Avoid Possession of Weapons: Even if your bail conditions don’t explicitly mention it, it’s wise to avoid possessing or being around firearms. It’s an unnecessary risk that can further complicate your legal situation.
- Adhere to Curfews: If a curfew is imposed as a part of your bail conditions, respect it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Stay on the Right Side of the Law: Committing another crime while out on bond will not only jeopardize your current case but will also land you in further legal trouble.
- Avoid Alcohol and Drugs: Stay away from any substance that might impair your judgment or lead to erratic behavior. Courts often require drug tests for individuals out on bail. A failed test can lead to revocation of your bond.
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.
At D & D Bail Bonds, we believe in second chances. Whether you need guidance on being out on bond or are looking for expert bond services in Mississippi Gulf Coast, MS, we’re your reliable partner. Don’t wait; secure your peace of mind by reaching out to us today! For top-rated bail bond services without any extra hassle, call D&D Bail Bonds at 228-539-0700!