Once the suspect is charged with a criminal complaint, he or she becomes the defendant in the criminal case and may be eligible to be released on bond. In most misdemeanor cases, other than domestic violence, a defendant’s bond is set by judicial rule and if he or she is able to post the required amount of bail, he or she can be released until the initial court date. If the defendant cannot post bond or is charged with a serious criminal offense, he or she will be taken to the Lake County Jail and appear before a judge for a bond hearing within 48 hours (usually 24) of arrest. The bond court judge then determines the appropriate level of bail. The amount of bail a judge sets should be appropriate to protect the public and to assure the defendant’s appearance in court. It is not punishment for the alleged offense.