I am just wondering: If an accused in a criminal case posted bail, and subsequently, was released from detention, would he still be imprisoned after the trial?
As defined, bail is the security given for the release of a person in custody of the law, furnished by him or a bondsman, to guarantee his appearance before any court. Bail may be given in the form of corporate surety, property bond, cash deposit, or recognizance (Section 1, Rule 114, Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure).
Also, bail is subject to the conditions as set forth by Section 2, Rule 114. of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, which states:
“Sec. 2. Conditions of the bail; requirements. – All kinds of bail are subject to the following conditions:
(a) The undertaking shall be effective upon approval, and unless canceled, shall remain in force at all stages of the case until promulgation of the judgment of the Regional Trial Court, irrespective of whether the case was originally filed in or appealed to it;
(b) The accused shall appear before the proper court whenever required by the court or these Rules;
(c) The failure of the accused to appear at the trial without justification and despite due notice shall be deemed a waiver of his right to be present thereat. In such case, the trial may proceed in absentia; and
(d) The bondsman shall surrender the accused to the court for execution of the final judgment.
Clearly, bail may be availed of for the temporary liberty of a person who is in custody of the law, while the criminal case for which he/she was taken into custody is being heard by the court. In other words, he/she is released from custody once bail is posted and shall enjoy liberty while the trial of the case filed against him/her is in progress, on the condition that he/she will appear in court whenever required. After the trial of the case, however, if the court finds him/her guilty of the offense charged, he/she shall serve the penalty imposed, which may include imprisonment.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated.
We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org