Being arrested and placed in jail for any amount of time can be a scary situation, but unless you're being charged with an especially serious crime, you should have the opportunity to be released from jail once you pay the bail amount set by the judge handling your case. Even once you're out of jail on bond, however, there are some things you should do to avoid further trouble and protect your best interests.
1. Know the Conditions of Your Bail
Start by finding out the specific conditions of your bail; you should be informed of these at the time you are released from jail. One of the most important conditions of being released on bail is that you will be required to appear on your court date. In the meantime, you may have other special conditions that you need to follow, such as staying within the state or (if you're facing a domestic violence charge) staying out of contact with the alleged victim.
2. Consult With an Attorney
Another important step you'll need to take after getting out of jail is consulting with an attorney who can represent you in your case. Depending on your financial situation, you may be able to retain a public defender free of charge if you're unable to afford one on your own. Either way, having legal representation is vital to making sure your rights and best interests are protected from now until your court date.
3. Be on the Lookout for Court Details
Make sure the contact information you provided the jail with when you were booked in is correct, as you will likely be receiving important correspondence regarding your upcoming court date and other potential hearing dates. It is imperative that you show up to all court dates and that you do so on time; otherwise, a warrant will be issued for your arrest, and you will forfeit any bail money you may have paid to get out.
4. Get the Help or Support You Need
Being charged and jailed for a crime can be very stressful, regardless of your innocent or guilt. Don't hesitate to reach out for the help and support you may need as you prepare for your court date and navigate the emotions surrounding your charges. Therapists and counselors can help you work through this difficult time and remain level-headed so that you can stay strong and prepare for your day in court.
For more information, contact your local bail bonding services.