Pre-Trial Release…How Is This Different From Bail?

A pre-trial release sounds good in theory but there are some things you should know and that this type of release is quite different from traditional bail. We receive calls every now and then where people are inquiring about how their loved one can qualify for a pre-trial release. This is not up to a bail bondsman to decide if a defendant can get a pre-trial release. It’s usually up to a local government entity that releases defendants from jail at no cost to the defendant. In years past it has been used for less serious crimes when a defendant cannot afford bail however now we at 49th Street Bail Bonds in Clearwater Florida have seen it used for a variety of crimes.

After a pre-trial release the defendant is still expected to show up in court. If they do not appear it will be up to the local law enforcement agency to locate the person and bring them back to court. This is often a low priority in some counties. It’s interesting to note that local tax dollars typically fund a pre-trial release program.

A pre-trial release is different from a typical bail bond. Bail is the process a court takes to determine if a person charged with a crime can be released before trial. According to the Black’s Law Dictionary bail is defined as the process by which a person is released from custody either on the undertaking of a surety or on his or her own recognizance.

In a bail situation the judge has several options. A judge will typically choose the option that best offers a balance between the defendant’s individual rights and community safety.

Community safety is a large consideration a judge would consider when deciding if a defendant should receive a pre-trial release. Statutes and court rules list factors judges must consider when deciding on a pre-trial release.

We hope this gives more insight into how a pre-trial release works. It’s not the decision of the bail bondsman or family members for sure. For bail information or to bond out of jail 24-hours a day please call 49th Street Bail Bonds at 727-592-0000.