The Ramblings of Criminal Defense Attorney Roger P. Foley
BAIL AND BAIL BONDSMEN
If you have been arrested, normally you won't have to stay in jail while you are waiting to appear in Court. A Judge sets the Bond or Bail at the first hearing/ bond hearing. You may either post the bond amount in cash or you may hire a bail bondsman. The bail bondsman's fee is normally 10% of the bond amount. They may also require a co-signer or collateral. You may also be released from jail on your promise to return on the date and time specified. To be released on your own recognizance (ROR) you must prove to the Court that you are a reliable citizen with a good standing in the community. This type of bond is generally available to people arrested for the first time and when the charge is not extremely serious. Another form of Bond, know as Pre-Trial Release, is also sometimes available. This may involve a GPS monitor being attached to the defendant pending the outcome of the court case, along with daily or weekly contact with a pre-trial officer.
The Court considers many factors in setting the amount of bail, including circumstances of the arrest, the severity of the crime and its penalty or punishment range, the likelihood of flight, and any prior criminal record of the accused. If you are a first time offender you will usually be released on bail unless you are charged with a serious felony, or if the Court feels that you pose a threat to another person. Repeat offenders who have committed crimes while on probation or out on parole are sometimes denied bail. The U. S. Constitution prohibits an excessive or arbitrary bail.
At the first hearing/ bond hearing, the judge will make a decision that may have lasting implications in the case. It is a good idea to have a lawyer early on who can guide you through the process. Your lawyer may help determine whether posting a cash bond or contracting a bail bondsman is best for you. Your attorney can often learn a great deal about the case informally at the first hearing/ bond hearing. It is important to remember that if you fail to appear in court, or "jump bail," this money is forfeited and you are then subject to re-arrest and a more severe sentence if convicted.
Remember. If you are arrested consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. You owe it to yourself to find an attorney who really knows the law. Experience in Criminal Law is what you need when you or someone you care about is accused of a crime.
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. These writings are designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
Copyright © 2009 The Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.
The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley, P.A.