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What is bail?

The purpose of bail is not to punish but to secure the defendant’s presence at their court appearances. Rhode Island law provides all those accused of crimes the right to bail except for a limited number of high level offenses. For instance, bail is not guaranteed for offenses such as murder, first degree sexual assault, first degree arson, use of a dangerous weapon by an individual previously convicted of such an offense and a number of other offenses.

The most common types of bail are:

  • Release on own recognizance (promise to appear)
  • One or more sureties
  • Cash or bonds

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