One of the first concerns a person has when they are arrested is getting out of jail. With the state of the court docket, defendants can spend considerable time behind bars before their case is heard; of course, most don't want to do this.
In Massachusetts, there are several ways for a person to be released from jail while their case moves forward. The manner used depends on a variety of factors, including the type of charge and the orders of the judge.
Your own recognizance
If your charges aren't too serious, you might be released on your own recognizance. This means that you will only have to sign a promissory note that states you will attend your future court hearings. Your first date will be noted on the form, but you will be responsible for appearing at any subsequent dates as well.
Bail or bond
The court may require that you put money or assets up to secure your release. This is done so that you will attend your future hearings. You must pay close attention to the wording of the order. If you have a surety bail, you can use a bail bondsman to secure your release. This may require the payment of a nonrefundable fee.
The other type of bail is a cash bail, which is generally lower than the surety bail. To use this option, you must pay the entire amount to be released.
Conditions of release
The conditions that the court sets must be followed exactly. This can include requirements like being placed on a GPS tether that keeps track of where you are. It is also possible to have no contact orders if there was a victim. Sometimes, you might be placed on location restrictions or have a curfew. You may be prohibited from being able to associate with other people related to the case.
There are very strict penalties for failing to follow the conditions of the release, as well as for not going to court hearings. On a felony case, you may face five years in prison for not attending court dates after your release. Imprisonment for up to one year is possible in a misdemeanor case. Fines and other penalties may also be ordered.
Make the right choices
It is imperative that you understand and stick to the terms of your release. This helps to ensure that you don't face more legal woes.
Get the legal advice you need if you have been charged with a crime.