How to Post Bail for
your Temporary Liberty
Getting out of Jail
after an arrest. What you need to know about bail -- what it is,
how it's set and how to pay it
Often, a person's first thought
upon landing in jail is how to get out -- and fast. The usual way to
do this to "post bail." Bail is cash or a cash equivalent that an
arrested person gives to a court to ensure that he will appear in
court when ordered to do so. If the accused doesn't show up, the
court keeps the bail and issues a warrant for the arrest of the
Bail can take any of the following
Cash or check for the full amount
of the bail
Property worth the full amount of
A surety bond (that is, a
guaranteed payment of the full bail amount)
A waiver of payment on the
condition that the accused appear in court at the required time
(commonly called "release on one's own recognizance").
How Bail is set?
Public Prosecutors are responsible
for setting bail. Because many people want to get out of jail
immediately (depending on when you are arrested, it can take a day
two before you the see a judge). The Department of Justice (www.doj.gov.ph)
set standard bail schedules which specify bail amounts for all bailable crimes and offenses. An arrested person can get out of jail
quickly by paying the amount set forth in the bail schedule.
Unless the charged is punishable by
death or life imprisonment and the evidence of guilt is strong, the
1987 Constitution requires that every person charged for a crime or
offense has the right to post bail which should not be excessive.
This means that bail should not be used to raise money for the
government or to punish a person for being suspected of committing a
crime. Remember: The purpose of bail is to give an arrested person
her freedom until she is convicted of a crime, and the amount of
bail must be no more than is reasonably necessary to keep her from
fleeing before a case is over.
If a person can't afford the amount
of bail on the bail schedule, he or she can ask a judge to lower it
by filing a Motion to Reduce Bail Bond. The
accused can also file a Petition for Bail on the ground that the
evidence against him is not strong, even if he or she is facing a
You can pay the full amount of the bail
in Cash. If you are acquitted, you can withdraw the Bail that you
posted. You can also buy a surety bind or post your property to pay
for your bail.
Bail bond is like a check held in
reserve: it represents the person's promise that he or she will
appear in court when required to. The bail bond is purchased by
payment of a non-refundable premium (usually about 15% - 35% of the face
amount of the bond).
A bail bond may sound like a good
deal, but buying a surety bond may cost more in the long run. This
is so because you have to renew the surety bond upon its expiration
otherwise, upon motion of the prosecution, a warrant of arrest will
be issued for failure to renew the surety bond. If the full amount
of the bail is paid, it will be refunded (less a small
administrative fee) when the case is over and all required
appearances have been made. On the other hand, the 15%-35 premium is
nonrefundable. In addition, the bond seller may require
"collateral." This means that the person who pays for the bail bond
must also give the bond seller a financial interest in some of the
person's valuable property. The bond seller can cash in on this
interest if the suspect fails to appear in court.
Getting Out of
In certain cases, people are
released "on their own Recognizance" or to a refutable person in the
community. The accused released on Recognizance must simply sign a
promise to show up in court. He doesn't have to post bail. The
accused commonly requests release on his own recognizance at his
first court appearance. If the judge denies the request, he may then
ask for a reduced bail.
In general, accused who are
released on Recognizance have strong ties to a community, making
them unlikely to flee.
Under Revised Rules on Criminal
Procedure, the accused may ask the Court to be Release on
Recognizance (1) if he has stayed in Jail for period equal to or
more than the possible maximum imprisonment of the offense charged
to which he may be sentenced; or (2) person has already stayed in
jail for a period equal to or more than the minimum of the principal
penalty prescribed for the offense charged.
You're invited to call us to discuss
your Philippine Criminal Law concerns. We shall be glad to talk with you over
the telephone, or in our office or yours, whichever is easiest for
you. You can also e-mail us at
[email protected] and we shall get back to you
GUZMAN TAŅEDO & ACAIN
Mile Long Building 316