At a bond hearing the defendant asks the judge to release him from the prison. This meeting is also called a bail bond hearing or first appearance hearing. It is here at this meeting when the judge decides whether the accused should be granted a bond or not. The judge considers several things, such as whether the accused has had any previous involvement in murder, drugs, financial situation or any previous arrests. Most of all, the judge will see whether that person poses any threat to the society or community.
A bond hearing normally takes place after an arrest. It is held within 48 to 72 hours after the arrest has been made. A bond hearing is held twice a day every day. A judge usually conducts a remote bond hearing. In this remote bond hearing, the judge is not present. He is conducting the hearing through a voice or video technology. The judge can view the court and also the defendant present for his hearing.
A bond hearing is usually set once an arrest has been made. But some individuals have to wait for their bond hearing. Those individuals who have allegedly committed a crime will appear before a criminal court. There is no bond hearing for a person who has committed a murder. In the court the judge will determine if that person can be granted a bond. And how what the bond would be if issued. If the court thinks that the defendant maybe a flight risk or is a danger to the society they will not issue any bond to the defendant.
PURPOSE OF A BOND HEARING
The purpose of a bond hearing is that it provides an opportunity to the defendant to plead his case. The correct time for the defendant to prove to the judge believe that he is not a threat to the society. That he or she is not a flight risk and has significant ties to the community. The defendant may bring along his family to support him which is also beneficial for him. The family can also act as a guarantor to his bond.
The purpose of asking for a bond is that the defendant will be released and will appear at a future date given by the court. The bail should be set in such a way that a defendant will appear at trial and should not be so excessive that it will serve as oppression. The excessively high bail depends upon the proof given by the defendant.
The purpose of a bond hearing is to request the judge to permit the release of the defendant by paying a monetary bond. If there is already a bond then the defendant pleads for lowering the bond if it is too high.
The issuing of a bond, lowering the current bond depends upon the seriousness of the case. The judges see what kind of an offense has been done. They will also ponder on the facts of the case. The judge will decide the bond in accordance to the crime. Whether the defendant caused serious harm or injury to the victim, whether he has any previous records of any criminal act and whether he has been arrested before. These facts are pondered and determined by the judge before issuing a bond.
However if the crime is minor and the defendant has ties with the society or community, they are released on their own.
The money that the guarantor deposits with the court is supposed to ensure that the defendant or the suspect will always appear in the following stages of the proceedings of the case.
If the defendant is not able to afford the money, he can always get help from professional bond people. These professionals are available to pay the money for them at a nonrefundable fee, which is 10 percentage of the required amount.
Defendant or suspects who pay their own bail gets the money back after their appearance at the court.
A bond hearing starts immediately after an arrest has been made. The defendant and his lawyers request the judge to release the defendant from custody. The defendants who have been called to the hearing are brought to the courtroom. These defendants may bring along theirs lawyers and also their families. The background of the suspect’s family may also effect the judge’s decision.
As the defendants name is called out he or she comes to the podium and awaits the beginning of his cases proceedings. However if the judge is present via a video call the defendants stands in a specific point in the courtroom where the judge can see him clearly.
The judge will then read off the charges and determine whether there will be a bond. People accused of heinous crimes are usually denied a bond.
The defendant or the lawyer will then request the judge to grant release to the suspect in return for a specific amount of fee. They will also request the judge to release the suspect on his own recognizance. However if this request is denied they will plead for a fee in turn for the suspect to get released and on the condition that the suspect will be duly present at each of the future dates of the trials.
In a bond hearing the prosecution will either agree or deny to the request or offer an alternate request with supporting evidence. The judge will then give his decision to the defendant.
However the judge considers the following facts when rendering a decision. These facts are:
- The suspect’s precious criminal history.
- Whether the suspect pose a danger to the community.
- Whether the suspect has community ties.
- His financial resources.
- His current and previous employment situation.
- What kind of family he belongs to.
- Most importantly the severity of the crime committed.
- Whether he will take flight and not return to the proceedings of his case.
The judge may also deny a suspect if they think the money comes from an illegal source or criminal actions. If in doubt the judge will require proof that the bond money comes from a legal source. If the proof is not given the bond money is denied.
In a case where the defendant siphoned the money allegedly from hedge funds, the court may ask for documentation to show where the money was spent on by the defendant. If the defendant is not able to produce the documentation, then the court may deny the bond and also prevent the defendant from spending the bond money.
The court may also deny bond money to those suspects who maybe a flight risk. And also to those suspects who have already tried to leave the country after paying the bond. They may also deny to those who may use the money to leave the country and avoid prosecution.
SETTING THE BOND MONEY
After the decision has been made the judge doesn’t set the bail randomly. She uses a bail schedule for reference. The felony offense starts from about five to ten times the bail for misdemeanor.
The judge also sets some conditions and restrictions for the bail. These restrictions include no use or possession of a firearm, contacting the plaintiff, using drugs and drinking alcohol. The defendant has also to regularly check in with the legal authority. The most common restriction is curfew.
A judge may deliberately set high bond money to keep the defendant in custody. If this is the case the defendant and lawyer may request a bail reduction hearing.