Everyone loves the drama of movies and television, especially those involving crime and punishment. Because movies need to be dramatic, many aspects of the legal system are played up while the boring parts are cut out, which leads to a public misunderstanding of arrests and hearings. Here are just a few things movies and television get wrong about the process of posting bail.
The Judge Doesn’t Set the Bail
In movies, it’s common to see dramatic bail hearings where the judge sets an extremely high bail which elicits a collective gasp from everyone in the courtroom. In reality, the judge doesn’t typically decide the bail. Most bail decisions are made using an algorithm or a predetermined amount, depending on the crime. This is so judges can’t set discriminatory or inconsistent bails for every defendant.
Bail Isn’t Normally Denied
We’ve all seen movies where the defendant is denied the chance to get out on bail. This is certainly dramatic and entertaining, but it isn’t very realistic. Bail can be set at high prices for severe crimes, but it’s very rarely denied to defendants. Bail is typically only denied if the defendant has a history of skipping bail, not appearing in court, or anything else which makes them a flight risk.
You Get More Than One Phone Call
To build the drama of characters being arrested, films often rely on the ‘one phone call’ trope. It’s common to see a jail guard tell the character they only get one phone call, but the truth is defendants are typically allowed to make as many calls as they need. Defendants typically need to call a bail bondsman, an attorney, and sometimes a friend or family member who can co-sign their bail, and they are almost always allowed to make all these calls after being arrested. Your loved ones can even purchase minutes for the call so you don’t have to be charged for every call, making it easier for you to contact everyone you need to talk with.
Bail Doesn’t Mean You’re Free
Some movies will only show a character being arrested, having a bail hearing, and being bailed out without any following court dates. This leads to the illusion that a defendant has complete freedom once they’ve been bailed out, as if the rest of the legal process is non-existent. In reality, being bailed out is one of the first steps in a long legal process. Your bail might come with terms and conditions set by the court or co-signer, which includes showing up to every court date. Defendants sometimes have to put up property as collateral until they’ve attended all their court dates, and anyone on bail with an alcohol-related charge may be subject to wearing an ankle monitor or a blood-alcohol scanner.
Get Bailed Out Fast With A-EZ Out
A-EZ Out is dedicated to helping defendants get out of jail and back to their lives after an arrest. Our bail bondsmen are available 24/7 to post bail in Dallas, Denton, Tarrant, and Collin Counties, and we’ll help you through every step of the legal process. Call or visit our website to get in touch with an experienced bail bondsman today!