Posting bail is a centuries-old practice meant to elicit good behavior from defendants. If the defendant shows up for his or her court date and accepts the process, he or she can get the bail money back. If not, it is forfeit. Once bail is posted, the accused may go free until the next court date. Furthermore, bail can be postponed for a time based on circumstances.
Just because bail has been set and you have posted it does not mean that you are free and clear. Actions on your part can contribute to your bail being revoked. It is important that an accused person exhibit the best behavior possible so as not to run into this problem. It is also possible that the setting of bail will be delayed.
Why Would Bail Be Delayed?
According to Rule 34.02 of the Minnesota Rules of Criminal Procedure, in the state of Minnesota an extension of 36 to 48 hours can be granted for cases that require additional time. For example, recently discovered charges may require more investigation. Though the extension is limited, it does mean that a person may be held a couple of days longer without charges or the setting of bail.
How Can Bail Be Revoked?
Bail can be revoked for a number of reasons, almost always having to do with the behavior of the defendant. These are the three most common reasons why a judge might revoke your bail:
- Fraud or Misrepresentation. You must represent yourself and your situation as accurately as you can during your bail hearing. If you claim to earn less money than you actually do, the judge will almost certainly revoke your bail when he or she learns the truth. Misrepresentation does not have to be an outright lie, however. If you fail to tell the whole truth and withhold important information, this is also a form of fraud. Always look to your attorney for guidance.
- Risk to the Community. If you cause trouble in the community when you get out on bail, your bail is likely to be revoked. This can come from threatening witnesses or committing other crimes while you are out. Always be on your best behavior while you are facing a court date.
- Courtroom Malfeasance. If you act in bad faith with the court, the judge is likely to revoke your bail. This bad faith can include threatening or tampering with witnesses or bribing jury members. One Minnesota man saw his bail canceled for this very reason. Ethical behavior is a must when you are out on bail. If you are ever in doubt about your activities, always consult with your attorney for proper guidance.
An initial bail is not carved in stone. A high bail amount can be lowered at a hearing, or even eliminated altogether. Furthermore, bail can be revoked depending on the behavior of the defendant. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to post bail, or if it happens to someone you know, it is important to understand the process to get the best results. Good behavior is essential for posting bail if you want to remain free in the community.