The Suspect Goes Through the Bail Process
Arrest and Bail
After being arrested, the defendant will stand before the MDJ, who will set an amount of bail. Bail is set to assure the defendant shows up for court proceedings. If the suspect pays the bail, or uses the services of a bail/bond company, he/she does not go to jail.
The amount of bail depends on a number of things including how serious the crime was, how strong the case is, whether the defendant has a criminal record and whether the suspect may possibly decide to flee from the police. In cases involving murder of the first and second degrees, which potentially carry a life sentence, there is no bail.
When the defendant shows up for court dates, the bail money is returned. If the defendant does not show up, the court will keep the money and issue an arrest warrant.
In most cases, especially those involving personal injury crimes, the police department making the arrest should call you and advise you of the arrest and bail status of the offender. If you do not hear from the police department, do not hesitate calling the police department to find out the arrest and bail status of the offender. It will be helpful if you have the offenders name and police incident number when you make the call.
PA SAVIN: Pennsylvania's Automated Victim Notification Service
PA SAVIN is Pennsylvania's automated victim notification system. As a victim of crime, this service provides you with free, confidential notification regarding an offender's release, transfer or escape. The PA SAVIN service includes offenders under the supervision of county jails, state prisons and the state Board of Probation and Parole.
If the offender is in the County Jail, you, your family and your circle of support can receive notifications on offender movements:
- When the offender is released from jail
- If the offender escapes
- If the offender is transferred to another location
- To register, click here.
The Suspect is Prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office