Best practices for when you are out on bail

Once you have made bail and have been released on your own recognizance to await your next court date, what should you be doing?  Judges will most likely look at what you have been doing with your time since your arrest and release and your actions may determine what happens at your next hearing.  Here are a few things that can help that process to go as smoothly as possible.

Follow all bail conditions

The first and most essential thing that you need to do is follow all bail conditions that were set.  This means you should comply with any orders that the judge imposed.  This can be things like not leaving the state or city if your travel was restricted or completing any mandatory or court ordered tasks.  Sometimes a judge will require someone to complete drug and alcohol screening while on bail, or may require the defendant to complete classes or coursework for things like anger management or other topics.  Keeping in compliance with the conditions for your bail will help your case as it shows you can act as a responsible citizen.

Find or maintain employment

Staying employed or finding a job while out on bail is another essential practice that can help you.  If you have a job, do everything you can to keep yourself employed and working.  Not only will this help show that you are acting responsibly, it can help give you some funding if you later need to pay fees or other costs associated with your arrest.  If you don’t have a job, finding and keeping employment will also help to show the judge that you are doing your best to rehabilitate and act in a responsible manner.  Additionally as mentioned above, having some stable income can also help you to pay for any fees or costs that may come up, including lawyer’s fees or restitution.

Stay out of trouble

Finally, the last but most important thing is to stay out of trouble.  The last thing you want to do is to get involved with the police while you are out on bail.  Do not commit any crimes or engage in any activities that may see you returned to police custody.  Sometimes this means keeping your head down and avoiding certain people that you may have gotten in trouble with in the past, or avoiding activities like using drugs or alcohol where your judgement may be compromised.  Avoiding confrontations or physical altercations will also be essential.  Remember that being out on bail is considered a privilege, not a right, so proving that you can behave responsibly is essential to make sure that you do not end up back in jail, possibly with additional charges added for something that happened while you were released.

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