If you are arrested, you may or may not go to jail. Depending on what you have been arrested for, the officer may have discretion to put you in jail, release you, or even give you a ride home.
If you go to jail, you have a right to appear before a judge or commissioner within 72 hours. The judge or commissioner will then either release you on your personal recognizance, or set a bail amount. (In some extraordinary cases, the judge can order that you be held without bail).
If the judge sets bail, you can post the entire amount and get out. Your bail money will be returned to you when your case is resolved either through a guilty plea, a guilty verdict, a non-guilty verdict, or a dismissal. If you can’t afford to post the entire amount of the bond, you can use the services of a bail bonding company. They will normally ask for 10% of the bond amount, and some collateral to cover the rest. So if your bail is set at $10,000, the bonding company may ask for $1,000 and the title to a vehicle worth more than $9,000. When your case is resolved, the hold on your collateral will be released, but the bonding company will keep the 10% cash payment as their fee. If you fail to appear for your scheduled court dates, the court will issue a bench warrant and may keep any bail money or bond that has been posted. Failing to appear for court may also constitute an additional crime, so always show up for court on time.