In criminal cases, pretrial hearings and motions are extremely important in determining the eventual outcome. After posting bail in Upper Marlboro for a loved one, it is essential for him or her to stay informed about these hearings through his or her defense attorney and to show up at any hearing in which his or her attendance is required. Failing to show up for any court date, including pretrial hearings, could cause bail to be revoked and the bail bond agent to contact you about covering the full bail amount. Here is what you need to know.
What are pretrial hearings?
Pretrial hearings are the court dates during which attorneys for both sides of a criminal case make pretrial motions. These motions can address everything from what evidence is permissible during trial to whether a trial should take place at all. Pretrial hearings typically occur after preliminary hearings, also called arraignments, during which the judge makes an initial decision about whether there is probable cause to think that the defendant could have committed the crime. Note that a preliminary hearing is not the same thing as deciding whether someone is innocent or guilty. If your loved one is bound over for trial during a preliminary hearing, it simply means that a judge believes that a jury could potentially find him or her guilty.
What issues are decided in pretrial hearings?
The issues that are debated during pretrial hearings vary greatly, depending on the nature of the case. Attorneys may file motions to exclude certain evidence or witness testimony, request that the venue be changed, or request the release of information the defense believes the prosecutor is withholding. In some cases, attorneys may make a motion to dismiss the case completely due to lack of evidence, settlement agreements made before trial, or because the case is being tried in the wrong jurisdiction. The judge may decide these issues during a pretrial hearing or may require everyone to return at a later date to hear his or her answers to the motions.
When you are posting bail for a loved one, it’s natural to look for a low price, especially since bail can be so expensive. However, when you’re looking for a bail bond agent in Upper Marlboro , price is not the first consideration that should be on your mind. Watch this video to learn more.
A good bail bond agent does more than take your money to get your loved one out of jail. A quality agent will guide you through the often-confusing process of posting bail, helping to reduce your anxiety as well as the anxiety of your incarcerated loved one. Look for a bail bond agent who is responsive, explains all parts of the contract and process in full, and who has a track record in the community. Choosing by price alone could end up costing you more in the long run.
There are multiple ways to post bail for a defendant. When you hire a bail bond agent in Upper Marlboro, he or she will help you post a surety bond , which is the most popular form. However, although they are less common, property bonds do exist. Here is what you need to know about the differences.
Surety bonds are arranged by bail bond agents on your behalf. When you make arrangement with a bail bond agent to pay your loved one’s bail, he or she makes an agreement with an insurance company to agree to pay the full bail amount to the court if the defendant doesn’t appear at court as expected. If you guarantee bail for someone through a surety bond, if that person doesn’t appear in court, you could be responsible for the full bail amount.
With a property bond, you give the courts a lien on a piece of property in lieu of paying bail. If the defendant doesn’t show up for court, you could lose your property. Because of this severe consequence, surety bonds are widely preferred, since they don’t require you to put your home or another valuable piece of property on the line.
A bail hearing occurs shortly after arrest. Before you can make arrangements for a bail bond in Baltimore, the hearing must happen. The process can be confusing and intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. Here are the facts you need to know.
The way bail is set varies.
In some cases, there is a set bail schedule that determines exactly how much bail will be, based on the charges. In these instances, bail can be set almost immediately by a magistrate or other court officer without a formal hearing. When there is not a schedule, then bail will be determined in the course of a hearing in front of a judge, or in some cases, a magistrate. Typically, in a hearing such as this, the court official has a large degree of latitude when deciding how to set bail. Once bail is set, you can contact a bail bond agent to start making arrangements to pay the required amount.
Many different factors go into determining bail.
When there is not a bail schedule, the court will consider several different facts when determining an appropriate bail amount. These factors include the nature of the charges, the criminal record of the defendant, and the likelihood that the defendant will show up to court dates if released on bail. In some cases, charges are determined to be so serious that the court decides not to offer bail at all. In other instances, the court may decide that bail is not necessary and that the defendant can leave on his or her own recognizance.
Lawyers are not required but can be helpful.
Defendants are not required to have a lawyer for bail hearings, but having one can help, especially for serious charges. Lawyers can argue for the lowest bail amount possible and help with bail appeals if necessary. Because lawyers are familiar with the workings of the court, they can also offer much-needed advice to the defendant and his or her loved ones about navigating the bail process and arranging for a bail bond.