In Virginia, after someone is arrested and taken into custody by police / law enforcement, the suspect is typically transported to a jail where he or she will appear before a magistrate who will make a determination about whether the suspect can be released from confinement pending trial, and if so, on what conditions.
The magistrate will consider many things when making this decision, but they fall into two broad categories - the degree to which the person presents a danger to the public and the degree to which the person is a flight risk. Essentially, the magistrate tries to determine (1) whether the accused will get in more trouble while awaiting trial if released and (2) whether the accused will come back to court for the trial if released. If the magistrate believes the accused presents a low risk of getting in more trouble and is likely to return for the trial, then the accused will likely have the opportunity to be releaed from jail pending the trial.
If the magistrate decides an accused does not need to be held in jail pending trial, the magistrate will come up with a set of conditions which must be met in order to be released. The accused may be released with nothing more than a signature promising to appear for the trial. This is commonly referred to as PR - personal recognizance. The person may be released on an unsecured monetary bond, which means no money has to be paid at that time, but if the accused violates the conditions of release he or she owes the amount of the bond. In this situation you may hear a court say a $500 unsecured bond. As charges become more serious, magistrates utilize secured monetary bond. You may hear a court say $5,000 cash or corporate surety bond. In this scenario, the accused must either pay the entire amount of the bond to the Court or utilize the services of a bail bonding agent. Bail bonding agencies typically charge a fee of about 10% of the total bond and then assume responsibility for making sure the accused comes to court when required to do so.
If you or someone you know has been arrested and accused of a DUI / DWI, Criminal or Traffic Offense in Virginia, and you have questions about the process to get released from jail, or any other matter relating to the case, call The Wilson Law Firm now at 703-361-6100 or 540-347-4944 and a knowledgeable, experienced and successful DUI / DWI, Criminal & Traffic Defense Lawyer will be happy to discuss these matters with you in more detail.