What Can Happen After Arraignment?

If you have been arrested, there is a process that you go through. That includes being arraigned. When that happens, you tell the judge whether you are pleading guilty or not guilty. The judge has several options at that point. 

Held Without Bail

The judge may order that you are held without bail. In that case, you are going to have to stay in jail until your trial, until you set up a plea bargain, or until the charges are dropped. You will be able to have meetings with your lawyer to set up a defense so that you can fight your charges. You may still be able to have visits with family and friends. Generally, being held without bail only happens with severe charges or in the case of a multiple offender. 

Released on Own Recognizance

Being released on your own recognizance means that the judge is letting you go so that you are in the community until you have your trial. You may have to report to a probation officer or other court official on a periodic basis until your trial. The judge may also order that you wear an ankle bracelet so that your movements can be tracked and your movements may be limited to a certain area around your house and work. That will let you still support your family in case you need to. Generally, being released on your own recognizance only happens in the case of minor crimes. 

Setting Bail

Another option that the judge has is to set bail. This is a dollar amount that you have to pay in order to get out of jail and stay out of jail. Generally, the bail is set rather high. You may not have the money in order to pay your bail. If that happens, you have the option to go to a bail bond agent. The way that this works is that you go to the bond agent and give them a deposit or collateral. That is usually equal to a certain percentage of your bail. They then pay the bail to the court. If you appear at your trial, then you get back your deposit. If you don't, then your deposit or collateral is forfeit. For example, if you have to put your house up as collateral and you miss your trial date, you are at risk of having your house taken from you unless or until you go back to set a new trial date. However, if that happens, you most likely won't be released on bail. 

For more information, talk to a professional like Brad's Bail Bonds.