Bail Hearing Lawyers
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What Is a Bail Hearing?
The right to bail is not explicitly stated in the Constitution. The 14th Amendment, however, states that an individual may not be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law. Loosely stated, an individual may not be confined for a prolonged time period without being properly charged and convicted of a crime. As a result, in a criminal prosecution, the accused is entitled to make an application for bail. If an application for bail is made, then a hearing must be held to determine whether bail will be granted. If bail is granted and the accused puts up the bail money, he will be released from jail.
Doesn't Everyone Have the Right to Bail?
As stated above, the right to bail is not explicitly guaranteed by the Federal government. Some states, however, have enacted Constitutions or laws that require bail for certain offenses. In states where there is no Constitution or law guaranteeing bail, a court will usually entertain the setting of bond without a motion by the accused. If, however, there is no motion by the court, the accused may request a bail hearing.
A bail hearing does not mean that the accused will be released on bail. A hearing merely provides the accused the opportunity to determine whether bail will be set. In most instances, if the crime is not a capital offense and the individual does not pose a threat to society or present a flight risk, then bail will usually be available.
How Much Time Is There between Arrest and a Bail Hearing?
Although there may be several bail hearings throughout the criminal prosecution process, the most common is the bail hearing before trial. There is no fixed time when this must occur, but usually more than 72 hours after arrest is considered a violation of due process. Typically, a bail hearing occurs at the arraignment, but may vary from state to state.
What Is the Basic Purpose of a Bail Hearing?
A bail hearing gives the accused the opportunity to present evidence to demonstrate that the individual will appear at trial. The accused's main objectives are to show the court that they are not a threat to society and that they will return on the specified date to appear before the court.
How Does an Accused Demonstrate That They Will Appear in Court?
The accused will want to present themself in a proper manner. Displaying anger about the process will only make the court uncertain about your return. Furthermore, providing evidence in the form of documents or witnesses will have the effect of giving the court assurances. Documents may include forms and papers that exhibit your ties to the community. Witnesses should consist of people who can either testify to your character or will relay to the court that there are people in the court's jurisdiction who you do not want to abandon.
What Will Prevent Bail from Being Set?
Again, the granting of bail is not a given right and certain conditions may prevent bail from being granted even in the face of a bail hearing. Below are some of those conditions:
- arrested for a capital or violent crime
- pose a threat to society or present a flight risk
- failure to appear at court dates in the past
- have an outstanding warrant or are on probation/parole
- arrested while already out on bail
- have immigration problems
Do I Need an Attorney?
Having a criminal attorney present at your bail hearing may improve the chances of receiving bail. Make sure that you provide your attorney with all the evidence necessary to provide assurances to the court of your return.
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Last Modified: 12-04-2014 02:44 PM PST
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