Process Of Getting Out Of A Tennessee Jail When Arrested

After a person has been arrested and is taken into police custody, he or she is booked at the jail. Once criminal charges are filed, a court appearance then occurs. Once the accused Jail Bailenters a plea to the crime for which he or she is being accused of committing, a judge will then set bail, deny bail, or release the accused on personal recognizance.

Tennessee Code Annotated 40-11-104 and the statutes that follow provide the rights of a defendant in relation to bail. Bail may be made in a variety of forms.  The most common forms include a cash deposit or a surety bond payable to the court clerk.  Another type is a real property (land) lien signed to the court clerk.  Sometimes the court will accept a signature bond or allow the defendant to be released on his or her own recognizance (a promise to appear).  Each of these methods is intended to ensure that a person accused of a crime will appear in court when he or she is required to do so.

If the defendant appears for all scheduled court dates, the bail money will be returned, sometimes less a small administrative fee.  If the defendant does not appear for his or her scheduled court date, the court may keep the full bail amount and issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.

Because the defendant is incarcerated at the time bail is set, family or friends often must arrange for the bail to be posted.  Although an attorney may already be hired and involved in the case when bail is set, an attorney is prohibited from being financially involved in a client’s bail, such as by paying a bondsman, signing a bond, or becoming a surety.

How is Bail Determined?

A judge will typically set the bail amount.  However, some jails have standard bail schedules for common types of crimes in order to release people from jail faster.  Generally, an incarcerated defendant is entitled to have his or her bail set “without unnecessary delay.”

The U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment and Tennessee’s Constitution, Article 1, Section 16 prohibit excessive bail.  Bail is not intended to raise money for the government, nor is it meant to punish the defendant for his or her alleged crimes.  Bail is primarily intended to allow the accused to remain free until convicted, and it should cost no more than is reasonably necessary to keep a suspect in the jurisdiction until the case is complete.  Another purpose of bail, however, is to protect other citizens (society) from the defendant.  In these cases, the amount of bail may be set very high and in some cases, not at all.

Conditions of Bail

When people are bailed out of jail, they are often subject to conditions of release.  This means that they must adhere to certain conditions set forth by a judge.  If they fail to comply with these conditions, bail may be revoked and the offender will be returned to jail.  Some conditions, such as the condition that the defendant must obey all laws, are general and apply to all cases.

Other conditions may reflect the crime for which the suspect was arrested.  For example, a person arrested on a second DUI may be required to prove he or she is not drinking by using an alcohol-monitoring device.

If you or a loved one has been arrested, it is imperative to obtain competent, experienced criminal defense representation immediately in order to ensure your rights are being protected. Contact Attorney Donna Wagner to schedule a consultation.

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