It is frightening and stressful when you find out about the arrest of a loved one or a friend. It is especially traumatic if this is the first time you have had a loved one sent to jail. The law related to bail has changed a lot. It is difficult to keep track of the changes that have been made. This article gives you a general idea of the process that occurs when a person is arrested.
Cause For Arrest
When someone is arrested they are usually taken to a court commissioner for the district. The commissioner checks for the cause of arrest and its validity. Next, they determine the conditions for release. This is a prerequisite before putting the person in jail. If you live in a larger county, this takes a while.
Court commissioners, unlike judges or lawyers, do not necessarily have a lot of legal training. The only requirements needed to become a court commissioner is a graduate degree and a legal residency in our county. They have the power to sign the arrest warrant for putting someone in jail and also the right to deny bail. Usually, the court commissioner speaks to the defendants and releases them once they determine that there was no wrongdoing. There is still always a possibility of no release which means they remain in jail until the case completely closes.
It is illegal to influence the court commissioner for the first court appearance as it is not a public hearing. The person arrested has a right to hire or be assigned an attorney, when presented before the court commissioner. This gives you an opportunity to help your loved one. Hiring a knowledgeable lawyer to represent the your loved one is the best way to prevent serious long term sentencing. A good lawyer will help plead your loved ones cause.
Most often, you will not receive word about your loved ones arrest until after he or she meets with the court commissioner. In case the court commissioner denies release to your loved one, your next chance to get them out of jail is during the first bail review. The district judge has the power to grant bail. Here too, the person of interest has a right to hire a lawyer or be assigned one. Your best chance of being awarded a bail is at the very first bail review. This may also be your only chance to gain the release of your loved one before he or she goes to trial.
If the defendant lists you as a contact, then the court will contact you to verify the address. It is important that you are present in court for the bail review. This increases the chance that a bail recommendation is made before the trial. The bail review hearing is a chance for your arrested loved one to defend his or her side of the story.
There are new laws in place that prevent a judge from placing an over excessive bail amount. The laws have changed to require bail review that allows the minimum restrictive conditions for release. This protects the community, the supposed victim while giving the accused a fair chance.
Unless the person is a threat to the community, the judge will not be imposing a high bail amount. Instead, they would simply deny the bail, if they thought it was appropriate. A high bail amount is appropriate only if there is a chance the person may leave the town.
The best possibility of bail is if you can convince the judge to not assign a bail amount at all. A professional lawyer is able to assist with this in behalf of your loved one.