How Do I Qualify for Bail if I Am Arrested?

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Criminal Lawyer Bloomington, IL

Most state laws permit criminal defendants to be released on bail before their trial begins. (There are exceptions for defendants charged with capital offenses and certain felonies, and defendants who refuse alcohol or drug testing.) Discretion lies with the trial court to set a reasonable pre-trial bond. However, the court must comply with certain requirements:

  • The bail must be sufficiently high to ensure that the defendant will comply with its terms and appear in court.
  • The court cannot abuse its discretion by using bail to oppress or punish the defendant.
  • The court must consider the nature of the offense and the circumstances under which it was allegedly committed.
  • The court must consider the defendant’s ability to make bail.
  • The court must consider the alleged victim’s safety as well as the safety of the community.

Additionally, the court may consider the defendant’s employment status, family and community ties, whether he or she has a prior criminal record, and any aggravating circumstances related to the charged offense when setting bail.

Conditions of Bail

The court also has discretion to impose reasonable conditions that will protect the alleged victim and the community and that will ensure the defendant’s presence at trial. Examples of possible

bail conditions the court may order include:

  • Prohibiting the defendant from committing additional criminal offenses.
  • Requiring the defendant to notify the court if his address changes.
  • Requiring the defendant to provide a DNA specimen to law enforcement.
  • Requiring the defendant to submit to electronic monitoring, a home curfew and/or home confinement.
  • Forbidding the defendant from communicating with an alleged victim or going near the victim’s home, school, place of employment or other frequently visited location.
  • Requiring the defendant to submit to weekly drug testing.
  • Prohibiting the defendant from driving vehicles that are not equipped with a breathalyzer.
  • Requiring the defendant to receive counseling.

Note that a defendant may challenge an excessive bond or onerous conditions by filing a pretrial writ of habeas corpus. The defendant has the burden of proving that the trial court abused its discretion by setting an excessive bail amount or imposing a specific condition.

Revoking Bail

Violating the conditions of your bail or failing to appear at a court proceeding has serious consequences. The court will likely revoke bail and issue a warrant for your arrest. This time, the court probably will not grant bail, which means you must remain in jail before and during trial. However, an effective criminal defense attorney might persuade the court to reinstate the original bond or to set a new bond.

If you have been charged with a crime you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure that your right to bail is met, but also someone who will build a strong defense against the prosecution’s case against you.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help ensure that you receive a reasonable bond with reasonable conditions. Contact a criminal lawyer in Bloomington, IL from Pioletti & Pioletti today for a free consultation.