After an arrest, an arraignment hearing is usually the first time the accused will appear in court. It is during this hearing that bail is set. Once the arraignment is complete, the process of posting bail can begin. If you have a loved one who has been arrested and you are planning to contact a bail bond agent in Upper Marlboro on his or her behalf, understanding the arraignment process can be helpful. Here is what you need to know.
What is arraignment?
An arraignment hearing is an opportunity for the defendant to hear the exact charges against him or her and to enter a plea. During arraignment, the defendant is usually also assigned an attorney if he or she does not already have one. A schedule for the next court hearing is determined during arraignment as well. It is an important hearing because it sets the tone for the entire case and gives the defendant a good idea of not only the charges he or she is facing but also how the trial process will play out, so he or she can make any necessary arrangements with employers and family. Bail is the other big outcome of an arrangement hearing.
How is bail determined during an arraignment?
In some cases, there is a bail schedule, and the court has no leeway in the kind of bail that is set. In other instances, the court may consider a number of factors, including the nature of the charges, the defendant’s past criminal history, and his or her ties to the community. In addition to setting a bail amount, the courts can decide that bail is not appropriate because of the seriousness of the charges, and rule that the defendant must stay in court until his or her trial date. The court may also decide that the crime is not serious enough to require bail and will release the defendant on his or her own recognizance.
What happens after an arraignment?
After an arraignment, the process of posting bail can begin. Armed with the information about the bail amount, you can contact a bail bond agent to make an agreement to have your loved one released from jail. Keep in mind that you could forfeit your collateral and become liable for the entire bail amount if your loved one misses a court date.