A bail bond can result in temporary freedom for a loved one while awaiting an outcome to his or her criminal case. In many cases, bail is a simple process and can be taken care of in a matter of hours. If a loved one is facing a bail hearing, here is what you need to know.
What Happens During the Hearing?
Depending on the criminal offense your loved one is facing, he or she might have to attend a hearing. Some offenses have a pre-determined amount that has to be paid, while others must be set by a judge.
During the bail hearing, the judge will review the charges that your loved one is facing and set a bail. The prosecutor's office can ask for a higher or lower bail. Ultimately though, the amount of the bond is up to the judge.
What If It Is Too High?
In some instances, the amount that the judge sets might seem too high. Your loved one can request a bail review. Depending on the state in which your loved one lives, the review request can be filed through a petition or an appeal.
To get a lower amount, your loved one will have to address the reasons for the higher amount. For instance, if the judge believes that your loved one is a flight risk, the bail might be higher. Your loved one could point to his or her community connections, family, and work history to point out that he or she is not likely to run. Witness testimony and other evidence is also allowed in a bail review.
Can the Judge Set Restrictions?
The judge does have the right to set restrictions or place conditions on the bond. For instance, the judge could order your loved one to avoid excessive use of alcohol, avoid contact with certain people, or require him or her to seek employment.
In the event that your loved one fails to meet the restrictions or conditions that are placed on the bond, it is likely that the judge will issue a bench warrant for his or her arrest. Whether or not the judge exercises this option depends largely on how serious the violation is.
Before agreeing to post bail for a loved one, discuss the ramifications of doing so with a bail bond service, such as Yusef Odeh Bail Bonds. A bondsman can help you understand exactly what is required of your loved one and what can occur if he or she fails to live up to his or her end of the agreement.