What Can and Can’t You Do While Out on Bail?
When you post bail with the court, either via a cash bond or a surety bond from a bail bond agent, you’ll be granted a conditional release from jail while you await your court dates. What exactly does “conditional” mean? It means that once you’re released, you must adhere to specific conditions set forth by the court. If you violate any of those conditions, you risk being sent back to jail and forfeiting the bail money that secured your release.
What kind of conditions does the court place on your release? Read on to learn what you can and cannot do while you’re out on bail.
What You Can’t Do While Out on Bail
When the court allows your release from jail on bail, you’ll be ordered to adhere to various conditions that prohibit specific actions. In some cases, the conditions of a bail agreement may prohibit actions specific to the alleged crime, while in others, a set of standard bail conditions is used.
Generally speaking, here’s what you cannot do while you’re out on bail:
- Miss any court appearances. This is the number one thing you cannot do when you’re out on bail. If you fail to appear for even a single court date, the judge will consider your bail forfeit and will issue a bench warrant for your arrest. Whoever posted bail for you will lose that money, you’ll go back to jail, and you may be denied the opportunity to post bail again.
- Engage in alcohol or drug use. If you’ve been charged with a drug- or alcohol-related crime, the court will likely order you to refrain from alcohol or drug use while you’re out on bail. You may be required to participate in random drug testing as well, and if you fail, that’s considered a violation of bail, and your bond will likely be revoked.
- Use or possess weapons. The court may stipulate that you cannot have a weapon in your possession while out on bail. However, even if the court doesn’t expressly order you not to possess a weapon, most attorneys strongly advise against having or using one while you’re out on bail. If you have any questions about this condition, it’s in your best interest to speak with a lawyer for clarification and advice.
- Violate curfew. If a curfew was included as a condition of your release, you must not stay out past that time. If you are caught out and about past your court-ordered curfew, you may be arrested and your bail may be revoked.
- Engage in illegal activity. This should be obvious, but it’s worth reiterating: Don’t break the law while you’re out of jail on bail! If you do, and you get caught, you’ll be rearrested, charged with another crime, and have your original bail revoked. You may not be granted another opportunity to post bail, and again, whoever supplied your bail money will lose it.
- Contact witnesses. If there were any people harmed by your alleged crime or if there were any witnesses to said crime, the court will likely issue a no-contact order as a condition of your release. That means you may not reach out to those individuals in any way, or you risk having your bail revoked.
What You Can Do While Out on Bail
Being out of jail on bail essentially gives you an opportunity to continue on with your normal life, provided you adhere to the court-ordered conditions of your bail agreement. There’s a wide variety of things that are perfectly fine to do while you await your court appearances, including:
- Working a job. If you had a job prior to your arrest, and your employer is willing to let you continue working, you should go to work. If you did not have a job previously or lost your job when you were arrested, you may find and maintain employment, and it’s highly encouraged that you do so. Maintaining a job communicates to the court that you’re a productive member of society, which looks good for you.
- Traveling within a specified area. In some cases, the court will place local travel restrictions on a defendant who’s out on bail. Those restrictions may stipulate travel within the county or state. As long as you keep your travel within the area specified by the court, traveling is fine. Sometimes, exceptions may be granted, depending on distance and reason for the trip (i.e., visiting ill or dying family members).
- Being a model citizen. When you’re out of jail on bail, you should do your best to live your life as a model citizen would. Find new interests and/or hobbies and pursue them.
Get a Fast Bail Bond in Dallas or Tarrant County
Do you need to bail someone out of jail?? Get in touch with our team at A Way Out Bail Bonds for rapid bail bond assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach us at (214) 233-6140 in Dallas County or (817) 476-3372 in Tarrant County, or feel free to contact us online, and we’ll get in touch.