A Few Common Terms to Know

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — being arrested means that there is plenty to be confused about. For some, the question is as simple as “Where did I go wrong?” For others, it’s a little more complicated than that. There is no doubt that there’s quite a bit of information to keep straight, and the good news is that when it comes to bail bonds in Hawaii, our team of experts is here to lend a helping hand!

At Wanna Get Out Bail Bonds on Oahu, our goal is to provide each and every one of our clients with the information that they need to make the best possible choices. We understand that what you’re going through is something that’s likely completely new to you; that’s why no matter the situation, you can count on us to help you fill in some of the blanks.

That’s why in today’s post we thought we’d highlight some of the jargon in our industry that isn’t always clear. Many of the terms you’ll see below are ones that you’ve probably heard before, whether it’s in television or movies or real life, but that you might not know the meaning of. Not to worry, because we pride ourselves on offering clear and concise information. Keep reading to learn more!

Do You Know What These Terms Mean?


According to our friends at Wikipedia, a felony “is generally considered a crime of high seriousness.” Felonies include murder, manslaughter, arson, tax evasion, vandalism, kidnapping, burglary, forgery, blackmail, vehicular homicide, extortion, animal cruelty, and more.

It’s important to note that some of these charges can result in a judge not allowing you to be released on bond, although there are a number of factors that come into play.


Cornell Law School defines a misdemeanor as “a crime punishable by less than 12 months in jail.” Some misdemeanors include public intoxication, trespassing, reckless driving, petty theft, prostitution, some instances of drug possession, and more.


The Offices of the United States Attorneys refer to an arraignment as “an initial hearing on the case,” also known as an initial hearing. This is the hearing during which the accused will learn about the charges being leveled against him or her. The Offices of the United States Attorneys also notes that this is when “the judge decides if the defendant will be held in prison or released until the trial.” This is also when the amount of your bond will be set, generally speaking.

Jury Trial

In some instances, a jury trial will determine the results of your case. As you can probably imagine, this simply means that a jury will be assembled, presented with the facts, and then be called to make a decision regarding the charges that have been brought against you.

Public Defender

When you’re read your rights, one key component is that “you have the right to an attorney” and “if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” In other words, if you can’t afford to pay for your own lawyer, you’ll be working with a public defender. Although they sometimes get a bad reputation, the truth is that many public defenders want to do right by their clients and there is no shame in not being able to afford an attorney.

(A quick side note: when you’re Mirandized, you’ll also be told that you have the right to remain silent — a right that we’d advise you to take advantage of regardless of the situation. Our suggestion is to state your name, but don’t answer any other questions until a lawyer is present. A key component of this process is that anything you say can be used against you, so why not stay silent? Although some think that this is seen as not wanting to cooperate, the truth is that you’re simply taking advantage of the rights given to you by the Constitution and trying to look out for yourself.)

Plea (Also Known as a Plea Bargain or Plea Offer)

You may be asked by the prosecuting attorney to take a plea. In short, what this means is that you’ll be asked to plead guilty to some of the charges against you in exchange for the prosecutor dropping other charges. This can be advantageous in some situations, but our advice is to check with your lawyer before making any decisions. He or she will be able to walk you through the pros and cons of accepting a plea offer and will also be acting in your best interest.

Have a Question? We’re Here to Help!

One thing to note is that we are, of course, not lawyers. We certainly wouldn’t want to give the impression that we’re qualified to offer legal advice, so keep that in mind. We simply wanted to help to provide our clients with a bit of a dictionary that helps to make some of the commonly-used jargon a little easier to understand. It can be confusing, to be sure, but we want you to know that if you’re looking for a Hawaii bail bondsman with experience, the team at Wanna Get Out Bail Bonds would be glad to help.

With plenty of experience and a dedication to doing right by our clients, you can count on us to be there for you when you need help the most. Contact us today to get free bond advice, ask any questions you may have, or secure our services. We’d be glad to speak with you.