When your loved one has been arrested, they are usually remanded in custody awaiting a full trial of their case. However, the accused or defendant has the right to apply for bail so that they can be tried while out of prison. In most cases, the bail money is usually higher than most people can afford. All the same, a defendant has the option of seeking a bond reduction if they cannot pay the full amount set by the judge. Each state has rules and procedures that can be followed to obtain a bond reduction. As such, check out the following tips on how to reduce the amount of the bond set by the judge.
1. Call Your Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you realize that you cannot raise the bail amount set by the judge, it is important to talk to a criminal defense attorney before you contact the bondsman. You can click here to learn more about different services and relevant information that you can get from your attorney about bail bond fees. Qualified attorneys have the right knowledge and skills required to successfully defend individuals facing criminal charges. You should avoid wasting your money by calling a bondsman before you talk to your attorney.
2. Bondsman Fees
When you choose the option of seeking a bond from a bondsman, you should know that they charge a 10 % fee to your bail amount. To get your loved one out of prison, you will need to pay that 10% fee to the bondsman, but this can still be too much for people. To get a good deal, you can talk to your criminal defense attorney to get what is commonly referred to as “attorney referred bond.” This type of bond typically lowers your bail bond fee to 8% instead of the usual 10 % charged by the bondsman. It is crucial to engage an attorney to handle your bail bond application since they have experience in dealing with such cases.
3. Wait for First Court Hearing
Before you post bail for your loved one, it is a good idea to wait for their first court appearance also known as an arraignment. Chances are high that your criminal defense lawyer can try to convince the judge to lower the bail during your first court hearing. The judge has the discretion to release your loved one without posting any bail bond fees, which could help you save a lot of money.
A criminal defense attorney knows how to argue your case which can convince the judge to lower your bond fees. However, it is not guaranteed that the judge will lower your bail bond fees since there are different things they consider. The judge considers your criminal history, where you stay, and also assesses if you are not a flight risk. When the judge is satisfied that you will not abscond your trial, they can lower your bail so that you can be tried from home.
4. Circumstances Surrounding Your Arrest
In some instances, the circumstances that surround your arrest can determine whether you should post bail or not. Criminal charges should be filed within the mandatory time of two court days after you have been arrested. However, if this does not happen, the defendant is entitled to be released from holding cells without posting any bail. The accused person has a right to a fair trial, so any violation of their rights can be considered when seeking a reduction in bond fees. To succeed in this option, it is crucial to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will work with the facts surrounding a particular case which can help you save lots of money if you are exempted from paying bail bond fees.
5. Bond Reduction Motion
Alternatively, the defendant can also raise a bond reduction motion through the court’s secretary or coordinator if they cannot raise the bail money. Depending on the jurisdiction, a motion for a hearing is set when the defendant files the bond reduction motion. However, the onus is on the defendant to furnish the court with relevant information such as the nature of the case, the bail amount, and a statement showing their inability to pay the bond. The court provides an order appointing counsel if the defendant is not able to hire an attorney.
However, in other jurisdictions, the defendant can initiate the hearing by contacting the court’s secretary or coordinator. The defendant should map out the strategy about the evidence they should present to the court for consideration to have the bond reduced. The defendant should not present evidence that can otherwise backfire on their application for bail reduction. Rather, the accused can request a relative to present any evidence for their bond reduction hearing to avoid negative consequences.
Evidence of Lack of Funds
Once the defendant has initiated a bond reduction hearing, they should present satisfactory evidence to the court that they cannot pay the bail. For instance, the accused can provide business records, payroll, copies of tax as well as bank records to show that they cannot meet the bail requirements at that particular time. However, the defendant should also show that they have made an effort to pay the bail but only that they are hard-pressed. If you are faced with such a scenario, you can ask a trusted friend or family member to testify on your behalf about the number of bondsmen that you have tried to engage to assist you in paying your bail.
When your loved one has been arrested, the good news is that they can be released from custody on bail. The judge sets the bail amount depending on the level of your case, but many people often encounter challenges in raising the required amount. When you find your loved one in that predicament, you need to engage a criminal defense attorney who can lead the proceedings in seeking to have your bail bond fees lowered. The defendant should prove to the court that they cannot raise the bail. On the other hand, the judge should also consider various facts to assess if the applicant is eligible for a reduction in the amount of bond initially set.