Despite the fact that the accused party is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the court always requires an incentive to ensure that the charged person will be available in court hearings touching their case. Bail is used as that incentive.
Bail setting is one of the first things in a criminal case. It usually happens at the arraignment hearing or the first appearance in court. The bail can be adjusted upwards or downwards depending on various circumstances.
A bail hearing is a chance for the defendant to ask the court to release them as they await trial. The main objective of a bail hearing is to determine the bail amount.
In some instances, a jail may have already a bail schedule in place. You can post the bail paying in cash, through a bail bondsman, or seek help from a family member and friends.
Judges are the ones who set the bail. Since many people would want to get out of jail as quickly as possible, most jails or custody facilities have standard bail schedules that stipulate the bail amount for common offenses.
In case the defendant wants to post bail but doesn’t have enough cash required by the bail schedule, they can request the judge to reduce the amount. A request to reduce the amount of bail can either be made through a special hearing or the moment the accused person appears in court for the first time.
Alternatively, one can work with a company that offers services for bail bonds in Los Angeles, if you live in that area, for example, to secure the release of the defendant.
The Eight Amendment to the United States Constitution stipulates that the bail amount should not be excessive. This is to say that bail should not be used as a primary source of money for the government. Likewise, it should not be used to punish the defendant for committing a specific crime. The main objective of bail is to give the accused person their freedom until they are convicted of a crime.
When a person is bailed out, they are supposed to adhere to the conditions of release. If the suspect violates any of the conditions, then the court can revoke the bail and order a re-arrest of the suspect. For example, a judge can order the suspect domestic violence suspect not to contact any witnesses or the alleged victim.
Being released after posting bail is not the end of a case. This is a time to prepare and ensure that you mount a strong defense team. Below are steps to prepare for court after bail.
Ensure that you are aware of the date of your next hearing after being released from jail. Failing to do so may because you to miss the hearing hence breaching the bail terms. You should check these things:
- The address of the court
- Your hearing date
- The duration of the hearing
It is also important to have all the documents filed in court ready. Organize them in a way that will make it easy to find them. While your lawyer may have his own documents, it is a good idea to have your own folder of similar documents.
Before heading to the court, you should go through all the documents and remember what you told the court in the previous hearing. This is because the judges are likely to ask you what is contained in the documents. Your attorney can also guide you on what to say when called to the stand.
Your legal representation can play a big role in determining your case. They need to present strong arguments and evidence that will prove their innocence. As such, provide them with all the necessary information regarding the case. Be in constant communication and inform them if anything that affects the case arises.
Being released after posting bail can be a great relief both to the defendant as well as their family. However, that’s not to say that the case is over. It should be an opportunity to prepare adequately to prove your innocence.