Need to Post Bail in Seattle? Here's How It Works!
If a police officer arrests you and takes you to jail, you may find yourself caught in the legal system quickly. The criminal justice system in Washington is complex, and individuals accused of crimes can easily become overwhelmed with the details.
What you need to know is simple. Call a Seattle criminal defense lawyer. Your lawyer can fight for you and help ensure that you’re treated fairly and justly. After all, everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Even if you don’t believe you did anything wrong, an attorney can help advocate for your release and ensure that you don’t say anything incriminating.
Your lawyer will also help ensure that you know everything about posting bail in the state of Washington.
What is Bail?
Washington is a right-to-bail state. That means that in the state of Washington, bail is money or some other form of property that an accused person gives to the court as a way to guarantee their appearance at future court hearings. If the accused fails to appear in court, they may forfeit the bail and be subject to arrest.
Bail can also be used to ensure that an accused person does not leave the state or country while their case is pending.
The decision to set bail and the amount of bail is up to the judge and is based on a number of factors, including the severity of the crime, the likelihood of the accused appearing in court, and the risk that the accused poses to the public safety.
Ways to Get Released from Jail While Awaiting Trial
In Washington, there are several ways you can get released from jail while awaiting a trial. Your attorney will explore each one and help get you back home quickly.
- Own Recognizance. If the judge does not think you are a threat to run or injure someone, they may release you on your own recognizance. This means that you do not have to post bail but must still appear in court. This is often reserved for individuals who have no prior arrests and who are charged with a non-violent crime.
- Cash Bonds. When a low bail amount is set, typically for a misdemeanor, a cash bond can be used. The full amount of bail (minus court fees) is returned when you appear in court. Paying Bail. If you can’t pay the cash bond, you can choose to hire a bail bond company. A bail bondsman will post bail for a fee, typically ten percent of the bail amount. This is not refundable.
- Property Bonds. This is rare, however, sometimes the court will accept a title to a property. The court can foreclose on that property if you do not appear in court.
How Long Does the Bail Process Take?
In larger cities in Washington, like Seattle, the bail process can take longer. The system is more crowded, so individuals charged with a crime might sit in jail longer before they can attend an arraignment in court. If you are arrested in a smaller town, booking, arraignments, and bail procedures often move much faster.
During their arraignment, the judge will make a determination regarding bail. It is important to have a Seattle criminal defense attorney present with you during this arraignment.
Contact Our Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you are arrested and charged with a crime in Seattle, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney with your first phone call. An attorney at Lewis & Laws can be there to help you through the confusion and the process of posting bail. We know how to fight these charges aggressively and will work tirelessly to protect your future throughout the legal process.
Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our online contact form. We can protect your future - call us today!