What is bail in Midland?
Bail is a sum of money a defendant pays to be released from custody pending final disposition of his case. It is a form of pretrial release. Bail acts as a financial guarantee that the defendant will appear in court when required
Typically, bail is set by a Justice of the Peace, or other magistrate, while the defendant is in custody. In Midland County, certain misdemeanors have a pre-set bail of $500. In other cases, the defendant must be brought before the magistrate to have bail set. In felony cases, bail set prior to indictment can be increased or decreased by the district judge after the defendant is indicted. As a general rule, bail is carried over, and remains the same after indictment.
. A defendant can post bail by depositing cash with the sheriff. Once the case is finally concluded, the sheriff then returns that cash to the person who deposited the cash. More commonly, defendants post bail by bail bond. Bail bond companies guarantee the defendant's future appearances at court by signing a bail bond. For this service, the bonding company usually charges a fee of 10% to 15% of the bail amount. For example, if bail is set at $25,000, you can expect to pay a bondsman $2,500 to $3,750 for a bail bond. This is the bonding company's fee, and unlike a cash deposit, none of the bondsman's fee is refunded at the conclusion of the case. Midland County has a bonding agency called "Midland County Pretrial Services." That agency's fee for a bond is 3% of the bail amount, which is substantially cheaper than hiring a commercial bonding company.
In rare cases, the court can can grant a Personal Recognizance bond, commonly known as a "PR bond." If a PR bond is granted, the defendant doesn't have to pay any money, unless he fails to appear for court.
The court can always attach conditions to bail. For instance, in intoxication cases, the court may require the defendant to submit to periodic testing for drugs or alcohol, or may require the defendant to wear a device which detects alcohol. The court may also require the defendant to install a breath interlock device on his vehicle. In family violence cases, the court can prohibit the defendant from having any contact with the alleged victim. The court can also order the defendant to wear a monitor, so that his whereabouts can be monitored 24/7.
How is Midland bail decided?
If a defendant lacks the financial resources to make bail in the amount set, he can file a motion, seeking a reduction in bail.
When deciding bail, a judge will consider factors including:
- the seriousness and circumstances of the allegations
- the defendant's criminal history and their risk of reoffending
- the defendant's flight risk, including their ties to the community
Although there are guidelines, the amount of bail is within the judge's sole discretion, as long as it's not objectively excessive.
What role does a defense attorney in Midland play in bail?
When it comes to bail, the stakes couldn't be higher. If you are denied bail, you risk remaining in jail until your matter is heard. An experienced attorney can help you thoroughly prepare for your bail hearing to give you the best chance of release. An attorney can give you professional advice, gather the relevant information needed for a bail hearing, and help you make arrangements if you're unable to personally post bail. Call today at 4326833323 or fill out the online form to schedule a Free Consultation.