Wed, 12/20/2017 - 12:00am

Bail is an amount of money set for the freedom of an accused person.  The bail is paid, ostensibly, so that the accused person will come to court in order to get their money back.  So, for example,  a person is accused of a crime and arrested.  The Court sets a bail in the amount of $5,000.00.  The person or their family or friends can then post $5,000.00 with the Court Clerk and the accused will be set free.  If they do not come to Court when directed, the Court Clerk keeps the $5,000.00.  If they do, then at the conclusion of the case (conviction, acquittal, dismissal, whatever) then whoever posted the money will get it back.

However, most people do not have the money for their bail readily available.  Some such people, though, still want out of jail prior to the conclusion of their criminal case.  So they, or a friend or relative, will visit a Bail Bondsman.  A Bail Bondsman is a person/agency licensed by the State to post bail on behalf of others.  They charge a fee for this service.  Around here it is generally 10% of the total bail amount and may also have other financial conditions attached such as a lien on real estate or other sureties and requirements to be in contact with the Bondsman every so often.  The accused must also, of course, appear at court.  If the accused has posted a bail bond and fails to appear at court as directed, then the Bail Bondsman may lose their money.   The accused will never get their fee back, that's how the bail bondsman makes money.

If a person cannot make bail by any method the court will sometimes grant an O.R. or P.R. bond (terminology varies from county to county).  O.R. stands for Own Recognizance (this means that the accused promises to appear in court as directed and the Court takes their word for it.  P.R. stands for Personal Recognizance and means exactly the same thing.  This happens mostly when the jail is full or the accused already has legal counsel and is fully engaged with the court process.  It doesn't happen for many violent crimes (like robbery, rape, murder, arson, etc.)  Other reasons for an O.R. bond include that the accused is too sick for the jail to care for them (i.e. the jail does not want to pay the hospital bills or transport the accused to the hospital while providing security).

In Oklahoma bond can be denied for a violent crime or a serious drug crime, but "the proof of guilt must be evident, or the presumption must be great, and it must be on the grounds that no condition of release would assure the safety of the community or any person." 22 O.S. §1101.  This would seem to be a presumption of guilt (and it is) but bail is treated differently than trial for historical reasons.

If you are in need of bail then you are also in need of a great criminal defense lawyer.  Call us at (405) 601-9393.  We are state wide with reasonable rates and excellent results!  

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