No one ever plans on going to jail, but in the event that you do get arrested, it’s important to understand the bail process so you know how to get out as quickly as possible.
Individuals charged with criminal offenses are not automatically granted bail. It’s important to have a criminal defense attorney present at your bail hearing to represent you, particularly since the prosecutor will attempt to have bail either denied or to set a very high amount for bail. There are a number of factors the judge may consider when granting bail and establishing the amount of bail.
One of the most important factors the judge will consider is the nature of the offense. Individuals charged with crimes that are considered particularly heinous, such as child sex abuse, have a much more difficult time obtaining bail. The judge may also consider your prior convictions, if applicable. If you were previously released on bail, the judge will consider how you behaved during that time. To assess your flight risk, the judge will evaluate whether you have family and a job in the area, and how long you have lived in the area. Your financial resources are another important consideration.
In some cases, you will be released on your own recognizance. This means the court has granted you freedom in exchange for a written promise that you will show up in court at a later date. The judge will consider whether you are dangerous, and if you have a prior criminal record. The judge will also consider whether you are believed to be a flight risk. If you have family in town and have lived in the area for a great deal of time, you will probably be considered a low flight risk. However, if you have no ties to the community, you are considered a high flight risk, and you may not be released on your own recognizance.
If the charges are minor and you have no prior record, you may be released on your own recognizance. If you do not appear in court after signing the document and being released on your own recognizance, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and you will face additional legal consequences.
If the court grants you bail, you’ll be required to pay a certain amount of money to secure your release until you are required to reappear in court. Alternatively, you could work with a bail bondsman, who will pay the court for you in exchange for a fee and collateral. Bail bond agents usually charge a fee of 10-20% of the bail. This fee is nonrefundable.
Like all court hearings, you’re more likely to obtain a favorable outcome if you have a criminal defense lawyer representing you at your bail hearing.Don’t appear at your bail hearing alone; protect your legal rights by hiring a criminal defense attorney. Residents in Dallas and Plano can contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass at (972) 954-4441 to arrange for exceptional legal representation.