When Are You Eligible for Bail after an Arrest?

Interviewer: How is bail set? Does someone have to pay it all in cash? Will they get their money back?

In Josephine County, Oregon, Someone at the Jail Sets the Initial Amount of Bail, Based on Specific Criteria

John Reade:  An employee at the jail in Josephine County, and in most other counties set the initial amount of bail, before a person even goes before a judge. A judge could decrease or increase the bail, or leave it as is.

If an Individual is Unable to Post Bail, They Can Appear Before a Judge

John Reade: If a person arrested for a crime(s) cannot or does not post the bail prior to their first court appearance he or she can appear before a judge, and ask that the bail be reduced. Sometimes a judge will reduce the bail or say no bail is required. In rare circumstances — let’s say if the person is flight risk, or there’s a concern the person arrested is going to go out and commit another crime, the judge could increase the bail. That is unusual, but it does happen occasionally.

There are No Bail Bondsmen in Oregon

John Reade:  In Oregon, there are no bail bondsmen, so a person has to post ten percent of the bail amount. If the bail is $2,500, you have to post ten percent of that, or $250. Then court after a resolution of the case, retains a certain percentage of the bail up to a maximum amount. In addition, if a person is convicted of a crime and owes any financial obligations, the court can take the amount owed out of the bail.

After an Arrest, A Step by Step Sequence of Events

Interviewer: Can you do a step by step sequence of events from arrest to trial?

John Reade:  After a suspect is formally arrested and brought to jail, someone at the jail tells the suspect that if he or she can post bail before the court appearance ; they can be released. If they cannot post bail, the suspect will have a court appearance before a judge.

At the initial Court appearance, at least in Josephine County, the person charged with a crime will usually initially have a court appointed attorney appear with him or her. This way a judge can ascertain if the defendant is going to represent him or herself, or if they are going to retain their own attorney or if they are eligible for a court appointed attorney. At that first court appearance or the subsequent bail hearing one can argue the bail issue, if he or she cannot post bail.

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