Man in handcuffs

The Significance of A Bail Court Hearing

When a person is arrested and taken into custody, they will be required to attend a bail court hearing.

It must take place within a few days after their arrest. The purpose of this hearing is to determine if a defendant is eligible to be released after paying a bail amount. The court will require a defendant to pay money or provide property to secure their release before trial. This is known as bail. During the hearing, a judge will decide if a defendant’s legal circumstances make it possible for them to be released from custody.

Bail Issues

A judge or magistrate will carefully analyze the charges against a defendant. The circumstances and the nature of the charges will be taken into consideration. If the charges involve narcotic drugs or violence, it will be noted. The court may ask a defendant the value of any property they may be willing to offer as bail. Another factor will be if the defendant was on probation or parole when they were arrested. A judge will have to determine if the defendant is a danger to others in the community. The evidence against a defendant will be carefully examined.

Flight Risk

If a judge determines there is a good chance a defendant will not return to court to stand trial, they have been labeled as a flight risk. If a defendant has been arrested for the first time and is not facing serious charges, they may be considered a low flight risk. Bail can be set once a judge determines the likelihood of a defendant’s being a flight risk. The amount of bail will be influenced by charges the defendant is facing, income level, ties in the community and more. A defendant who has been determined a high flight risk may still get bail. It will probably be very expensive for them.

Lawyer

A person is not required to have an attorney with them during a bail court hearing. Many legal experts recommend everyone have a lawyer present. An attorney may be able to make an argument to get bail when initially it is denied. An attorney may also be able to talk down a high bail amount. In many cases, an attorney can be the difference between a defendant getting bail and remaining in jail until their court hearing.

Bail Hearing Outcomes

A defendant may be granted their bail request with certain conditions. These are conditions that must be met for a defendant to remain free on bail. They are often such things as maintaining employment, limiting travel, drug and alcohol testing as well as psychiatric treatment and more. It is possible for a person to have bail denied based on evidence the judge has reviewed. In this case, it is possible for a defendant to have their attorney appeal the court’s bail decision to a higher court.

Changing Bail Amounts

A defendant may be able to request a judge lower a predetermined bail amount at the initial bail court hearing. This will depend on the type of case before the court and the jurisdiction. When a judge initially rules on the issue of bail, it is usually informal. A subsequent hearing can be held resulting from a motion made to the court. The prosecution and defense will each discuss the relevant facts associated with the bail. Each side will try and explain their reasoning for keeping the bail amount, increasing it or lowering the bail amount.

Bail Bonding Company

If a defendant is awarded bail but can’t afford it, a bail bondsman is an option. They may be able to provide the court requested bail for a fee that is equal to a percentage of the bail amount. The fees paid to a bail agent is determined by the regulations and statutes of the state where the court is located. A bail agent is licensed by the state where they operate. They are unable to provide any type of discounts for their fees. Doing this could be grounds for them to lose their license. A bail bondsman will need to know a person’s full name, booking number, bail amount as well as the location where the defendant is being held. Once a defendant goes to trial, the bail amount is returned to the bail bondsman. They will keep the fee as the cost of their services.

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