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Is It True You Can Still Bail Out Of Jail After Being Convicted Of A Crime?

by Kathryn Watson

It's commonly believed that a person is sent straight to jail and can't be bailed out once they've been found guilty of the crime and sentenced. While this is true for the most part, in some cases where the defendant has filed an appeal, the court may let the person bail out of jail while waiting for the appeal court to decide on their case. Here are two things that will influence whether this option is available to you or your loved one.

The Defendant's Flight and Danger Risk

In some states, judges have the discretion to decide whether to let defendants bail out of jail (or remain free if they're already out) after a conviction. To reach their decisions, they take several factors into consideration; specifically, how likely the defendant is to flee and whether they're a danger to the community.

Although these are the same types of things judges look at when deciding bail pre-conviction, the guilty verdict in the case will have a lot of influence in the judge's decision-making process. After all, a person is more likely to skip town to avoid jail after they've been convicted of the crime. Likewise, a conviction can act as proof the defendant may continue to harm others if he or she is released.

Thus, if you've been convicted of a serious crime (e.g. assault, murder) or you have access to resources that could help you flee, the judge will likely decline any request for post-conviction bail. On the other hand, if you've been convicted of a misdemeanor or non-violent crime and/or your ties to the community are strong, you may be approved for bail and allowed to stay home until your appeal is resolved.

The Sentence vs. The Appeal Time

How long it will take for your appeal to be heard and decided on will also factor into the judge's decision. Particularly, if it appears your appeal will take longer than the time you would've been sentenced to jail, the judge may approve the bail request.

For instance, if you would've been sentenced to 6 months in jail but your appeal won't be heard for another year, the jail may let you bail out since it would be cruel and unfair to force you to serve the time prior to having your case being heard before the appeal court where the conviction may be overturned.

If you do manage to get approved for post-conviction bail, be aware that bail bond companies will also look at these factors to decide whether to take you on as a client. So, it's important to discuss the issue with a bondsman as soon as possible to ensure they'll be willing to bond you out if you do get approved and plan accordingly.

For more information on using bail bonds to get out of jail, contact a bondsman.