When a police officer places someone under arrest, it can bring about a bit of panic for the person taken into custody and his or her loved ones. You may have learned that authorities arrested a family member or close friend, and now you wonder how you can help. Most likely, your loved one may have asked you to help him or her pay bail.
When it comes to bailing a loved one out of jail, you may have immediately agreed to help. However, you may not fully understand what posting bail entails, and you may first need some information before knowing the best way to help your loved one with this predicament.
First, you will likely want to know what the bail amount is. After all, as much as you want to help, you likely do not have substantial amounts of money just lying around. As a result, the amount could play an important part in how much you can help. When it comes to setting the bail amount, the judge will consider various factors, including the type of crime allegedly committed, whether your loved one presents a flight risk, whether he or she has a criminal history, and other related factors.
It is important to keep in mind that the judge could also deem it appropriate to withhold bail from your loved one. Typically, this only occurs when a person poses a serious risk to the community or if it is likely that a life sentence would result from a conviction of the charges. However, if police arrested your loved one on a misdemeanor charge, this scenario will likely not apply.
If you do want to help pay your loved one’s bail and have the ability to do so, you may need to provide a money order, cash, a cashier’s check or real property equity bond to the Clerk of the Court. After receiving the bail payment, the court should order the sheriff holding your loved one to release him or her.
While helping your loved one get out of jail may bring about some relief, it is important to remember that he or she may have a long road ahead. If you want to provide additional support, you will want to point your loved one in the direction of an experienced Wisconsin criminal defense attorney.