When a loved one is arrested, the aftermath is often confusing and unnerving. One of the first questions many people have is whether they will be able to post bail and get their loved one home. Decisions about bail are made during bail hearings, but you don’t have to wait for the hearing to occur before you contact a bail bond agent in Upper Marlboro about posting bail. By retaining an agent as soon as your loved one is arrested, you’ll help ensure that the process of obtaining the bond and getting your loved one released runs as smoothly as possible. The issue of how much bail will be looms large for many families and friends. The court relies on many different factors to make that decision. These are some of the most important things they consider.
Nature of the Offense
Before setting bail, the court will consider the nature of the offense for which your loved one was arrested. In some cases, there are set bail amounts for certain offenses that are automatically assigned. In other instances, the court can consider the seriousness of the offense when deciding how high bail should be. Generally, violent crimes carry the highest bail amounts.
People who have no criminal history are more likely to receive lower bail amounts than people who have criminal records. The court will also consider what charges are on the criminal record. Having a history of nonviolent, misdemeanor offenses is less likely to result in a higher bail than having a history of violent crimes and felonies. For people with lengthy criminal records, the court may decide not to allow bail at all.
Ability to Pay
Courts often consider the ability of defendants to pay the bail that is being assigned to them. Bail is not supposed to be punitive, so it generally shouldn’t be so high that the person cannot reasonably pay it given his or her financial circumstances. If you think your loved one’s bail is punitively high, an attorney may be able to help you get it reduced, so you can secure an affordable bail bond.
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.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime, understanding the court system can be extremely important. In addition to making smart decisions about planning a defense, understanding the courts will also help you understand how bail bonds work in Upper Marlboro .
If you have a loved one who needs to be bailed out of jail, myths about bonds and the bond process can cost you precious time and resources. The best way to get the facts about bail bonds is to contact a reputable bail agent in Baltimore for assistance. Don’t let these common myths about bail interfere with your ability to help your loved one at a critical time.
Myth: I need the full amount of the bail in cash.
This myth often prevents families from even attempting to bail someone out of jail, because they assume they simply can’t afford it. In reality, you only need the full bail amount if you choose to pay bail in cash directly to the court. The point of a bail bond is to allow you to get your loved one out of jail without needing the whole amount. Your bail bond agent will secure your bond with collateral, and you will pay a percentage of the total bail. Your agent will walk you through the specifics of your financial responsibilities and a plan for payment.
Myth: A bail bond agent can make a deal for bail for any defendant.
The decision of whether to set bail and how much the bail should be is in the hands of the courts exclusively. A bail bond agent cannot arrange to bail someone out if the courts have decided not to offer bail. Instead, agents come in after bail has already been set. If you think your loved one was denied bail incorrectly or if the bail was set too high, consult with an attorney who can help you appeal the bail decision.
Myth: Bail bond fees are refunded if the defendant is found innocent.
Bail bond fees are paid for the service of the bail agent posting the bond on your behalf. These fees are not refunded based on the outcome of the case, as they are essentially a transaction cost and compensate the agent for the risk of posting bail with the courts for you.
Finding out that a loved one has been arrested can be very distressing. Fortunately, if you need a bail bond agent in Virginia , Dominion Bail Bonds is here to help. We offer bail bonds in Maryland and Virginia and can walk you through the process of how bail bonds work so you can get your loved one home.
To bail a loved one out of jail, you will first need to know their bail amount, which will be set at a hearing soon after his or her arrest. Contact us with all of the information about your loved one’s bail, including his or her name, locations, case number, and bail amount, and a bail bond agent can explain to you how to sign a contract for bail and the cost of the bail bond. Once you sign your contact and make payment arrangements, we can post the bond with the court so that your loved one is free to be at home, continue working and caring for his or her family, and work with an attorney to plan a defense to the charges he or she is facing.
Bail rules are set to change in Maryland this summer, thanks to new legislation that will take effect in July. Watch this video to find out how posting bail in Upper Marlborough will soon be different.
A new law has been passed in Maryland that requires courts to consider a defendant’s ability to pay when they are setting bail amounts. This change means more affordable bail bonds, allowing more accused people to get out of jail while they are awaiting trial. Although the process of working with a bail bondsman and posting bail will not change, it will be easier for lower income families to afford bail bonds and not face the prospect of leaving a loved one to sit in jail because the bail amount is simply too high.
When bail is set for a defendant, anyone can post it and get him or her out of jail. If you choose not to use a bail bond agent in Upper Marlboro , then you would have to post either a property bond or cash bail. Cash bail may seem like an easy solution for low bail amounts, but it is an inherently risky way to get someone out of jail.
Cash bail is risky for many people because of the sheer amount of the bail. Giving a substantial amount of money to the courts could leave you short of cash you could need for your loved one’s defense or for family emergencies. Although cash bail is typically returned to the person who posted it when a trial concludes, that is not always the case. A number of state laws give the courts an avenue to retain the bail if the defendant is found guilty. If the defendant doesn’t show up to court, the entire cash bail amount will be forfeited without any recourse. For this reason, working with a bail bond agent can offer you much-needed financial protections.