How Long Do You Stay in Jail If You Can’t Make Bail in Utah?

Salt Lake City criminal lawyer

In most cases, people that are brought into custody at Utah’s Salt Lake County Jail are released on bail; in fact, it’s usually only people that are facing murder charges or have an extensive criminal background whose bail is denied. But what happens if you can’t afford bail and don’t have access to a bondsman? And how long do you stay in jail if you can’t make bail? Here, the Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys from Overson Law, PLLC will explain how long you can expect to stay in jail if you can’t make bail in Utah.

Waiting in Jail on Remand Detention in Utah

If you are taken into custody in Utah and you can’t afford bail, you will be held in jail until your trial date. This period of awaiting trial is known as “remand detention” and it can last up to a few months. Luckily, there are limits to the length of time that you will have to wait in jail before you can go to court for trial. All Americans have the right to a speedy trial, which essentially means that the court must schedule a trial as quickly as possible after discussing the case with both the defense and the prosecution.

How Bail Is Set In Utah

The most important factor that determines the amount of bail a defendant will have to pay is Utah’s bail schedule. The bail schedule is used to provide assistance to a sentencing judge while determining the appropriate fine or bail. According to the Utah Uniform Bail Schedule, bail for felonies ranges between $5,000 and $25,000, bail for misdemeanors ranges between $340 and $1,950, while bail for infractions that aren’t local ordinances is technically $100 but defendants are not usually held in jail for infractions.

When setting bail for a defendant, a judge will take the defendant’s criminal history into account. Defendants with good criminal history can expect much lower bail amounts than those who have a long criminal history. Judges consider the nature and severity of the crime that the defendant is being charged with, whether there is a restraining order against the defendant, whether the defendant violated probation or violated parole, whether the defendant committed the crime while released on bail for another crime, whether the defendant has connections to their community (e.g., family, workplace, community involvement), whether the defendant has a history of substance abuse, whether the defendant has a record of prior offenses, and the defendant’s character and reputation within their community while deciding on whether to set bail and how much to set it for.

Why You Might Be Denied Bail In Utah

One of the first steps in the criminal process is the bail hearing, which takes place after the defendant has been arrested but before their preliminary hearing. The purpose of the bail hearing is to determine if the defendant should be released on bail and if so, what the terms should be. There are three possible outcomes that can result from a bail hearing. Either the judge will deny bail to the defendant, the judge will set bail, or the judge will grant a specific type of bail known as “release on own recognizance” (also known as ROR). ROR bail can only be granted to defendants if they have not committed a violent crime, have established ties to their community, and are not classified as a flight risk.

A majority of bail hearings result in the defendant being granted bail; it’s rare that bail is denied to defendants. To deny bail to a defendant, they must either be charged with aggravated murder or charged with a felony while other factors (such as being a flight risk) are present. But even if a defendant is granted bail, it doesn’t always mean that they will always be able to afford it. Bail for severe felonies can be set at hundreds of thousands of dollars, which isn’t feasible for many people.

How to Get a Bail Bond If You Can’t Afford Bail Yourself

If you can’t afford to pay bail yourself, it may be possible to use a bail bond.  Bail bonds work by asking the defendant to pay a percentage of their bail (or another type of suitable collateral, such as a car) while the bondsman pays the rest. The bail bondsman will have an agreement with the court that they will cover bail if the defendant fails to return to court for their court date. If the defendant doesn’t appear in court, the bondsman will do whatever they can to find the defendant and bring them back to the jurisdiction they fled from. Failing to appear in court after being released on bail can also result in bail-jumping charges in Utah. If the original charge was a misdemeanor, the bail-jumping charge will also be a misdemeanor; if the original charge was a felony, the bail-jumping charge will be a felony, too. Penalties for bail-jumping charges include fines up to $5,000 and up to 5 years in prison. Speak with a Salt Lake City lawyer for a referral for a bail bondsman about these types of charges.

Call Our Experienced Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Attorneys Today

The Utah criminal justice system can be complicated and difficult to navigate. If you have been taken into custody, whether or not you will be released on bail and the amount of time you’ll spend in jail will depend on a few factors. Regardless of the circumstances of your case, your rights should be respected as your case moves through the legal system. Use the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney from Overson Law, PLLC. Call them today at (801) 758-2287.


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