In most cases, once you've been convicted of a crime, you cannot bail yourself out of jail. If you are sentenced to incarceration, you must remain in jail until your time is up. However, if you appeal your conviction, some courts will let you bail out until your new case concludes. Here's how that works.
Bail is Based on the Judge's Discretion
Defendants have the right to bail but only in the pre-conviction stage of their trials. Once a verdict has been rendered in a case, the defendant's right to bail ends. After all, what's the purpose of sentencing someone to incarceration for their crimes if they can just pay to get released?
Having said that, defendants who appeal their guilty verdicts may be eligible to get released on bail, but this is strictly at the judge's discretion. Even then, this option is not available in every state, and the ones that allow it have a list of criteria defendants must meet to be considered for this privilege.
For instance, judges will only evaluate post-conviction bail requests for defendants who were charged with minor, non-violent offenses such as drug possession. This is to avoid putting someone who could be a danger to the community back on the street. Other considerations include the length of the jail sentence, the likelihood of a successful appeal, and whether the person is a flight risk.
A criminal defense attorney can provide more information about whether a defendant's case qualifies and how to go about submitting a request for post-conviction bail, while a bondsman can help defendants secure their release once their requests are approved.
Bail May Be Set at a Higher Amount
The court is taking a big risk by letting someone convicted of a crime bail out of jail pending their appeal. There's always the possibility the defendant will flee or attempt to influence the outcome of their case (e.g. destroy evidence, intimidate witnesses), and bail will usually be set higher than the pre-conviction amount to reflect that.
Additionally, defendants may be subjected to even stricter bail conditions. They may be required to submit to ankle monitoring, surrender their passports, and be restricted from traveling anywhere for any reason, for example.
While you can still use a bondsman to help take care of the bail, be aware that the agency may also place additional conditions on the defendant before accepting the case. Thoroughly discuss the issue with the company to ensure you know what's expected so there are no unpleasant surprises that could jeopardize the defendant's freedom.
Contact 24/7 bail bonds services to learn more.