Facing criminal charges can be a daunting and stressful experience, and one of the biggest fears people have is the possibility of serving jail time. However, determining the potential duration of jail time is a complex matter, as it depends on several factors. These factors can include the severity of the crime, the individual's criminal history, the jurisdiction where the crime occurred, and the judge's discretion.
It is essential to understand these factors, particularly if you are considering whether to post bail. By understanding the potential duration of your jail time, you can make informed decisions about your legal situation and take the necessary steps to protect your rights and freedom.
What is the Maximum Stay?
The maximum stay depends on the court system. Typically you will be held until your trial, also called "pretrial detention." While you have the right to a "speedy" trial, the definition of this is up to the court and can vary. This means you might be kept in jail for anything from a few weeks to several years. Generally, simple cases involving minor infractions move faster through the court system. You may also be able to get a shorter stay if you are offered a plea deal, and in some felony cases, you may be released by the grand jury.
Some judges will prioritize you if you are waiting in jail, but not always. There is no legal maximum for pretrial detention. However, the average stay in the U.S. is about three weeks, which is more than enough time to affect your work, life, and mental health.
How To Post Bail If You Cannot Afford It
Being held pretrial can cost you your job, impact your relationships, and strongly affect your mental health. If you cannot afford to post bail then you can face significant consequences, including for a crime you did not commit. You may or may not have friends or family members who can help you by lending you the needed amount. While bail is returned when you show up at court, it is still often a lot of money, including for relatively minor offenses; not to mention many judges place bail disproportionately high to motivate you to attend your hearing.
In some cases, you may be able to get the court to release you on your own recognizance. However, you typically have to have no or a light criminal history and strong ties to the community. For example, they are more likely to release you if you have children you are unlikely to abandon.
Thankfully, there is an alternative. A bail bondsman can help you by posting bail on your behalf. Delco Bail Bonds offer bail bond services that can help you get out of jail and back to your life while you await trial. This usually means you will need to provide some form of collateral to help the bondsman recoup their expenses if you don't show up at court. You must also pay a premium, typically 10% of the bail amount. However, if you cannot afford the premium, Delco Bail Bonds will work with you to create a payment plan that fits your budget.
When you work with Delco Bail Bonds, you can rest assured that we're on your side. We'll take steps to make sure you show up for your court dates, including reminding you of your court date and even driving you to court if necessary.