When a person is accused of a crime, one of the first legal proceedings that they will participate in is a bail hearing. During this process, the defendant will appear before a judge accompanied by their attorney and argue to be allowed out of custody on bail. The impression that a defendant leaves on a judge will determine their fate for the duration of their trial. If the judge deems the defendant trustworthy and dependable, then the defendant can return to their everyday life on bail while they await trial. If the defendant presents themselves unfavorably to the judge, they may be denied bail and remain in custody for however long their trial lasts. This verdict has an enormous impact on the lives of the defendant and their loved ones during this difficult time, so it is of utmost importance to prepare for this hearing and present oneself in the most favorable light possible. The following are critical steps to take to ensure the best possible outcome of a bail hearing.
Obtain an Attorney:
Finding legal representation is the first step in preparing for a bail hearing. An attorney represents the defendant and argues for bail at a reasonable amount. They also formulate counterarguments against the prosecutor in favor of the defendant. This person plays a vital role in the bail hearing process.
Be Respectful and Professional:
Good behavior goes an infinitely long way in the legal system. Leaving a favorable impression on a judge relies heavily on a defendant’s mannerisms, appearance, emotions, body language, and speech. Address the judge appropriately, follow courtroom etiquette, dress cleanly, and always be on time.
Prepare a Good Offense:
Even the best attorney cannot free a defendant on bail if they are not provided with adequate evidence as to of why the judge should grant them bail. The defendant should provide their attorney with character references, evidence of community ties, and proof of assets and employment. All of these things will show that the defendant has incentives not to flee and does not pose a danger to society.
Prepare a Good Defense:
It is the prosecutor’s job to make a defendant seem as guilty and untrustworthy as possible. The defendant should prepare counterarguments for anything that the prosecutor may use against them during the bail hearing. Prosecutors may bring up prior criminal records, the possibility of evidence or witness tampering, the capability of violence, and the ability to flee.
Find a Reputable Bail Bondsman:
If the bail hearing goes well, the judge will allow the defendant out of custody on bail. The bail amount varies greatly but can often be quite high. For those that cannot afford their full bail amount, a bail bondsman is like a safety net for keeping them out of jail. Once contacted, the bail bondsman will determine whether or not the defendant is eligible for the loan, ask for a cosigner or collateral, prepare the required paperwork, and then post bail for the defendant for a non-refundable fee.
A bail hearing is a critical, make-or-break moment in the life of a person being accused of a crime. Whether or not the defendant has a good attorney, makes a positive impression on the judge, presents solid offensive and defensive arguments, and is able to post bail will determine their freedom for the duration of their legal proceedings.
Here at Mercy Bail Bonds, we are devoted to helping you and your loved ones receive the financial aid that you need during these difficult times. If you have any questions about the process of acquiring a bail bond and legal procedures, please call us at (727) 856-7775.