If you are arrested, one of the first court proceedings that you will attend is the Bail Hearing. During the Bail Hearing, the judge will determine what bail should be required to permit release pending resolution of the charges.
Bail is supposed to be set at an appropriate level to ensure that a defendant will appear in court when ordered to do so. If a defendant then fails to show up for a court appearance, the court will keep the bail – whether cash, a bond, or property – and issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest. In many cases, bail also includes certain conditions of release imposed on the defendant, such as the requirement that a suspect obey the law or not contact a witness.
Pursuant to the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, bail cannot be unreasonably excessive. In other words, bail should be used as a mechanism to raise money or to punish the defendant. The sole purpose of bail should be to ensure that the defendant does not flee before the criminal case is over. Unfortunately, some judge set bail at unreasonably high amounts in order to keep the defendant in jail until the case is over. Accordingly, it is highly recommended that you have a criminal defense attorney to advocate on your behalf at the Bail Hearing in order to minimize the risk of an inappropriate bail amount.
If you are unable to make bail at the amount required by the court, the first thing you should do is contact a criminal defense lawyer who can advocate on your behalf for a reduction of bail. You can also request to be released on your own recognizance. In order to be released on your own recognizance, the court will generally require you to show strong ties to the community such that it is unlikely that you will flee. Some factors that can weigh in favor of a release on own recognizance are: residing in the community for many years, family members living the community, employment within the community, and little or no prior criminal record.
What Should I Do If I Was Arrested and Can’t Make Bail?
If you are arrested, it is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Do not make any statements or answer any questions from the police or prosecution without an attorney present. A criminal defense lawyer can help protect your constitutional rights and advocate on your behalf for an affordable bond amount. If you are unable to post bond, a criminal defense lawyer will advise you on your legal options.
The Minneapolis criminal defense lawyers at Keller Law Offices are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to advise clients following an arrest. You can contact us at (612) 210-0629 any time, day or night, for criminal defense advice and representation.