19 Dec What You Should And Shouldn’t Do While Out On Bail
Whenever we help families reunite after a difficult situation, they often wonder what’s the next step for them. We get asked dozens of questions surrounding the stipulation of their release, and what they should or shouldn’t do.
These questions are both normal and understandable. For most, it may be the first time they’ve been arrested and bailed out, and they’re walking on eggshells to try and ensure they are doing the right thing while they await their next court dates.
Many of the family members that we’ve helped are led to believe that they are to strictly just stay at home and avoid doing anything until they go to court. While that may be a good way to stay out of trouble, it isn’t reasonable unless the terms of your bail state that you are on house arrest.
Let’s take a look at what you can and can’t do while out on bail.
You Should: Spend Time With Your Family
One of the ways you can avoid getting into further trouble is to simply spend quality time with your family.
Depending on what your charges are and your case, you may want to spend as much time with them as possible now before a long and drawn-out court process limits your time with them.
You Should: Go To Work
Continuing your regular work schedule should be one of the priorities for you. Showing that you are still going to work every day and being a productive member of society will reflect well on you during your court dates.
You Can Still Go Out
Unless specifically stated in the terms of your bail, you can leave your home and city to go out.
Depending on the severity of your crime and if you are deemed a flight risk, the judge may order you not to leave a specific area (such as your county or state), but those are usually for more severe cases.
In most cases, you will be able to leave your state unless you are out on federal bond (for a federal crime, a more severe charge).
If you have been released on federal bond, it’s very likely that the judge will set some parameters on where you can travel to and where you can’t.
If you have a history of missing court dates, there’s a higher likelihood that the judge will deem you a bit of a flight risk, and will limit where you can travel to.
If it’s your first arrest and it isn’t a federal crime, you will more than likely have no issues traveling.
You Should: Let Your Bail Bondsman And Attorney Know If You’re Traveling
Communication is one of the keys to life, and it’s no different in this situation. If you’re planning on traveling while out on bail, we absolutely recommend that you notify your bondsman and attorney of your travel plans.
Going out of town without communicating this to them may cause some panic and distrust. It’s important that you let them know so that they can keep you abreast of any upcoming dates or changes.
You Should: Notify Your Bondsman Of Any Changes
If you change addresses or phone numbers, you should notify your bondsman right away so that they have the most up-to-date contact information to get a hold of you.
You Shouldn’t: Hang Out With Bad Influences
If you have a history of getting into trouble with a specific set of friends or relatives, you should avoid hanging out with them completely.
Hanging out with them will only increase the likelihood of you getting in trouble again, which is exactly the last thing that you want to do while awaiting trial.
You Shouldn’t: Miss Your Court Dates
This is one of the worst things you can do. Skipping bail will be looked at very poorly by the judge, and will likely result in a warrant out for your arrest meaning that a bail enforcement agent (bounty hunter!) will be looking to find you and arrest you.
Attending all of your court dates is extremely important. It will reflect better on you during your trial and give you the best chance to get a positive judgment in your case.
You Shouldn’t: Do Any Illegal Activities
This may sound like common sense, but you would be very surprised at how uncommon common sense can be.
Going out and doing illegal activities will put you at risk of getting arrested again, and will nullify your bond—meaning instead of being at home with your family awaiting trial, you’ll be in jail waiting out your time.
If you were arrested for possession of an illegal substance, don’t go out and get those substances again. You’re just putting yourself and your family at risk again.
Hopefully this article gives you a little more insight to what you should and should not do while awaiting your court dates. Remember to be smart and stay in contact with your lawyer and bondsman.