The Guide to Understanding Bail in Wisconsin

Updated by Stangl Law on June 20, 2017

Like most people, you probably have a general idea of what bail is: money you pay to get out of jail. However, there is much more to bail than that. Eligibility, costs, payment options and other requirements all come into play.

If you've been arrested and are wondering how to get out of jail in Wisconsin, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the conditions surrounding bail in order to avoid further complications to your legal situation.

If you've been arrested in Wisconsin, do not discuss your case or answer questions until you consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What Constitutes Bail in Wisconsin?

What is bail? To put it simply, bail is the fee you must pay to be released from jail after you've been arrested. Wisconsin Statute 969.001(1) clearly defines it as "...monetary conditions of release."

Remitting this monetary amount is commonly referred to as posting bail or making bail.

You have 3 options in how you choose to remit or pay your bail in Wisconsin:

  1. Cash or check
  2. Bail bond 
  3. Property with enough value to meet bail

In some cases, individuals might have their bail amount waived on the condition that they appear in court at on their own recognizance when scheduled.

Keep in mind, having bail waived, posting bail or getting bailed out does not mean you are free and clear from the criminal charges that landed you in jail to begin with. If you are released on bail, it is with the understanding that you will return to court for any additional appearances as requested on your own recognizance, or by your own will.

Before setting an amount for your bail, a judge must first determine whether or not you are eligible for bail.

Read the article, "Arrested in Wisconsin: When to Contact a Lawyer" by Stangl Law to learn about what you need to do to protect your rights.

How is Bail Determined in Wisconsin?

After an arrest in Wisconsin, you will appear in front of a judge. This initial court appearance is known as an arraignment or bail hearing.

It's at this hearing that a judge will determine if you are eligible for bail. The judge will consider the charges you're facing and any prior convictions you might have on your criminal record before deciding whether or not to allow or set bail in your case.

If the judge decides you are eligible for bail, he or she will then determine the amount.

If your child has been arrested for drunk driving, read the article, "What To Do if Your Teen is Arrested for OWI in Wisconsin" by Wisconsin OWI Defense Lawyer Pat Stangl.

How Much Does Bail Cost in Wisconsin?

There is no set formula for bail amounts in Wisconsin. How much bail will cost is up to the discretion of the judge at your arraignment.

There are some judges in Wisconsin who choose to follow a schedule listing set bail amounts for specific crimes. However, this is not a requirement and, therefore, you should not assume this will be the case. Be aware, the judge in your initial court appearance may decide to lower or even raise these bail amounts, depending on the details of your case. 

The 8th Amendment protects individuals from excessively high bail amounts.

If you need advice on how to bail someone out of jail in Wisconsin, contact an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney for advice.

What to Do Once You're Bailed Out

Once you're bailed out of jail in Wisconsin, it's important to keep in mind that your freedom is both temporary and conditional. 

The first thing you should do after you get out on bail in Wisconsin, is consult a skilled criminal defense attorney to help ensure your next actions are in the best interest of your defense and your freedom. 

Read the article, "Finding the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Madison, Wisconsin" by Stangl Law to help you in your search to find the best lawyer in Wisconsin for your needs.

Free Legal Consultation in Wisconsin

With over 30 years of experience defending OWI and other criminal cases across Wisconsin, Criminal Defense Attorney Pat Stangl remains committed to providing exceptional and thorough defense for his clients.

If you're facing criminal charges in Wisconsin, Attorney Stangl is happy to extend to you at no obligation a FREE 10-minute consultation to discuss the details of your case and explore options for your defense.

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Topics: Other Criminal Charges, Drunk Driving Charges (OWI), Fraud Charges, Drug Charges, Weapons Charges



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