Everyone knows that misdemeanors are not as serious an offense as a felony. While felonies do generally mean more jail time, a misdemeanor may not just be the slap on the wrist that we may expect.
When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, they are brought to a hearing where a judge looks at the details of the case such as the manner and seriousness of the crime, and considers details about the accused like criminal history and the likelihood that they would flee. They consult with a bail schedule (bail guidelines) and set bail.
It happens all the time on police dramas and reality cop shows. A person is stopped for a minor traffic violation and when the officer looks up the person in the system, they inevitably have an outstanding warrant for their arrest so the officer slaps on the cuffs and hauls them in.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, there are some decisions that will have to be made, one of which is the type of bail to pay. You may be released on your own recognizance depending on the crime, your criminal history, community ties, and other factors that lead the court to believe that you will show up at your court dates to face the consequences of your actions.
Bonds for federal court are Signature Bonds (unsecured bonds) usually signed by a responsible 3rd party (co-signed). A Property Bond is also used in federal court. This is a bond that is secured by property, usually in the form of real estate. It requires a recent appraisal of the property along with a current lot book report from a title company and notarized documents must be filed with the county recorder’s office.
Missing your scheduled court date is not like missing a scheduled dentist appointment. Failure to appear in court is a crime that could cost you money as well as your freedom. Fortunately, if you don’t ignore it and you take steps to fix the problem, you may be able to rectify your situation.
If you’re lucky enough to be awarded bail and have the means to pay it, you’ll want to make sure you do everything right because if you don’t, you could be sent to jail until your trial. This is the intention of bail―to ensure that you’ll show up for trial and abide by the rules in the meantime.
When making an arrest, police officers need to follow the rules of the law. If they do not, the arrest is not legal and it puts the entire case into question. How do you know if your arrest was legal or not?
Unless you’ve been arrested before, you probably don’t have a lawyer, at least not a criminal defense attorney. If you’re arrested for a crime, where do you begin? The Yellow Pages? A little bird? The guy in the cell next to you? Usually, finding a defense attorney is something you don’t think of until you’re arrested for a crime. So where do you look?