What is Bail?
Bail refers to property or money that is promised or pledged to a court in exchange for the temporary release of an individual who is supposed to be in jail. This pledge takes into account that the suspect or individual is expected to return to court for trial proceedings at a pre-determined time. In cases where the suspect violates some of the terms of agreement with the court, his/her bail may be forfeited.
But not all courts or jurisdictions allow the posting of bail. Usually it depends on the laws of a specific country. Other factors involved in determining if a particular crime or offense is “bailable” or not may include type of crime committed and/or severity of crime. The amount of bail varies also depending on the laws of a particular country and the type and severity of offense. For minor offenses, some offenders may post bail immediately after arrest. For major crimes and offenses, most courts have a predetermined amount of bail for a particular offense.
The problem with bail is that those who could not afford it will be stuck in jail sometimes for several weeks or months before being able to defend himself/herself for the crimes that he/she supposedly committed. It is very common that there are some innocent people who go to jail and can’t afford to post bail. And usually what happens is that they wait for weeks and months before any trial of their case begins.
In other countries like the UK, bail may be of three types. One such type is called “police bail”. This involves releasing of a particular suspect, uncharged, but has to return to the police station at a predetermined time. Another type of bail is called “police to court”. This time the particular suspect will be charged and released through bail with the understanding that he/she should make a court appearance at a specified time. The third type is “court bail”. This refers to a suspect’s right to post bail while court proceedings are already ongoing.
The rules and laws concerning bail vary from country to country. To know about legal rights, one must consult with his/her lawyer.