The setting of a bail bond is a way for the court to ensure that a person obligated to appear in court will do so. It also is supposed to protect the public from potentially dangerous defendants. In practice, it is sometimes a spur of the moment decision, and it can be heavily influenced by the perception of a particular defendant. The seriousness of the crime, prior criminal record, employment, family circumstances, and living situation can all play a role in making a bail bond decision. When representing yourself, the way you articulate your situation can be crucial in determining whether or not you await trial behind bars.
When facing a bond hearing, it is important to understand what exactly is a bail bond. A bail bond is essentially a legal contract that releases an individual from custody. Bail is the security that is given to the State in order for you to be released from jail. Bond is a legally binding obligation on the person posting bail to return for their scheduled court appearance. A secured bond requires that you or someone on behalf of you put up something of value to assure an appearance in court. Often, this amount is higher than the amount of money you have available to you. Ideally, you would like to receive an unsecured bond or written promise to appear, which does not require payment in order for you to be released from jail. The factors that help the court determine whether or not you are a danger or flight risk, along with your ability to explain the application of these factors to yourself, will decide whether or not you receive an unsecured or lower bond.
After a bail bond is set, you have the ability to ask the court to adjust your bail. This is done through a motion to modify bond. After filing, the motion can be granted in one of two ways: (1) by consent of the judge and the prosecutor, or (2) by a hearing in front of a judge, opposed by the prosecutor. You do not want to file a motion to modify in every situation. If a prosecutor feels that the bond is already set properly, the hassle of arguing against the motion could lead to the prosecutor asking for an increase in bail. For this reason, it is important to talk with someone if you think your bail is improper. A lawyer can inform you of the right circumstances to file a motion to modify.
At either the bail bond hearing or on a motion to modify bail, it can be important to have a lawyer who understands what needs to be said and can aggressively fight to limit or reduce your bail bond. Understanding the bail process can be challenging at times, and reaching out to a lawyer can often help to increase your understanding and ease your concerns. We at King Law Offices have several attorneys to assist you with this matter. Give us a call today for a consultation on your particular circumstance.