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How does bail work in New York?

No matter where in the United States you are, bail allows people to stay out of jail until the court decides on their case(s) while providing an incentive to not flee before the trial date. Some have been vocal regarding New York's bail system because it can punish those without the financial resources necessary to post bail, meaning presumably innocent people remain in jail for months or even years without conviction of a crime. 

Although the concept of bail remains confusing to many, it is the most effective action available to give both sides of the criminal justice system peace of mind. Naturally, there are some cases where the court will not set bail because police arrested an individual on suspicion of a serious crime, such as murder. However, mostly everyone arrested in New York will have the option to make bail.

There are two types of bail in New York

In New York, an individual can either post cash bail or a bail bond. When someone has the money readily available to post bail, she or he can provide the court with the cash and receive all of it after appearing again in court at a later date. When a bail bond, a person needs to see a bail bondsman. The person pays 10 percent of the bail to the bondsman in addition to collateral, and the company puts up the money for the rest of the bail. After the person appears in court, the bondsman keeps that 10 percent and the court returns the rest of the money to the bondsman promptly. 

Several factors go into determining bail

The court considers various factors, so each case is different. The court will naturally look at the seriousness of the offense the police have charged you with. The court may also look at how likely you are to return to court. In the event that it is your first offense for a relatively minor crime, then bail will likely be lower than it would be for a repeat offender. 

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