If bail (often called a bond) is set and not paid, the defendant typically remains in jail until their court date. Here’s a bit more detail:
- Remain in Jail: The primary consequence of not paying bail is that the defendant must stay in jail until their court appearance. This could be days, weeks, or even months, depending on how far out the court date is scheduled.
- Possible Delays in Legal Proceedings: Being in jail can make it more difficult for the defendant to participate in their own defense, potentially leading to delays in legal proceedings.
- Impacts on Work and Family: Staying in jail for an extended period can significantly impact the defendant’s job, family, and other responsibilities.
Alternatives to paying the full bail amount out of pocket:
- Bail Bondsman: In many jurisdictions, if a defendant or their family can’t afford the full bail amount, they can pay a percentage (often around 10%) to a bail bondsman, who then guarantees the rest of the bail to the court. If the defendant doesn’t attend court, the bondsman will be responsible for paying the full bail amount.
- Release on Own Recognizance: For less serious crimes, or if the defendant has a good track record of appearing for court, they might be released on their own recognizance. This means they’re released without paying bail, on the promise that they’ll return for their court date.
The specifics can vary depending on the jurisdiction, the nature of the crime, and other factors.