How Does The Bail Process Work In Oklahoma?
There are several different options for bail in Oklahoma. In most counties, bail is set by a schedule. If you’re accused of committing a certain crime, then there is a dollar amount associated with that crime, and as soon as you are arraigned then you’ll be told the bail amount. Although it’s set by a schedule, that doesn’t necessarily mean that is what the bail has to stay at. If you feel bail is set too high, then your attorney can certainly put in a motion for a bond reduction. The court looks at various requirements to determine what the bail should be set at. The primary purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant appears before the court.
The bail will be set at that amount, and you don’t always have to pay the entire amount. What people usually do is have a bondsman. The going rate generally for bondsmen in Oklahoma is ten percent. You will pay the bondsman ten percent of what the bail is set at, and then they’ll post your bond. You will be able to get out, but you don’t receive that ten percent back.
However, if you have that amount of cash then you can post bond yourself. At some point, you’ll be able to get that back once everything is complete and the court has been assured that you are going to show up for court.
There is another option, which is the personal recognizance bond. Your attorney can go in and ask that a PR bond be set for you, which means that there is no amount that you have to pay. The court will do this because they feel very confident that you’ll be able to show up for your court appearances even though you won’t lose any money if you don’t show up for your court appearance. Often, having an attorney goes a long way in being able to secure a PR bond. It is also called an OR bond, or own recognizance bond.
Once you get out of jail and somebody posts the bond for you or you are out on your own recognizance, then what is next is usually an arraignment. That will usually happen within a couple of weeks after being arrested, and you will be notified somehow. You will either be told when you are arrested to show up on a certain day, or days and times, or when you are released you will be told when and where to show up for an arraignment. You may also receive a notice in the mail. During the arraignment you’ll be standing in front of a judge, and that is when the judge reads the official charging document to you, which is called the information. That is where you’re officially charged with that crime. The information says that the defendant on this certain day in this certain county committed this certain crime.
That’s what the state will ultimately have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, if it gets to that stage. You’ll receive the information, and then you will also receive a court date which will be about a month out. What type of appearance you will have to make next depends on whether or not it is a felony or a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors go on a disposition docket that you may or may not have to attend. That’s something that your attorney will have to coordinate. If you’re charged with a felony then you will have a preliminary hearing conference date. That’s where you must or may have to show up—depending on the county. Your attorney will use that time to talk with prosecutors, negotiate and advocate for you. From there, the next appearances will probably be about a month or two from that appearance.
For more information on Bail Process, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (405) 633-3420 today.