In the aftermath of a criminal charge, one of the first steps you face in the system is the bond decision. The bond hearing is where you learn if you will wait for trial in jail or released from custody at home.
What are bond hearings?
During a bond hearing, the judge weighs several considerations to decide whether to award and set bail. Bond is the only issue discussed at this hearing. This differs from the arraignment, where you hear the charges against you and respond with a plea.
Why should you consider hiring an attorney?
It is important to act quickly during this stage of the justice system process. Bond hearings happen quickly and it is critical to have your attorney present at this early stage. An attorney can help you argue your case for an affordable bond and start building your defense for trial.
What factors does the judge consider?
In deciding whether to award and set bail, some factors the judge will consider in a bond hearing include:
- Flight risk. Will the defendant show up on their court date or try to run and avoid it?
- Danger to the community. Is the defendant a danger to those around them and the broader public if released? Could they potentially harm someone?
- Risk for recidivism. Does the defendant have a long history of crime, making them a high risk for committing a crime if released?
- Intimidation risk. Is there a chance the defendant could access and intimidate witnesses?
The cost of the bond will depend on the severity of the case and your criminal history. It is up to the judge’s discretion whether or not to issue a bond. If the judge denies your bond, you have the right to appeal the decision.