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.