Every year, thousands of individuals face criminal charges in Utah. Charges for a criminal offense can range from lesser crimes (e.g., Class C misdemeanors) to more serious charges (e.g., Class A Misdemeanors). In many instances, defendants have the opportunity to post bail and evade incarceration. However, not many people know how much they will have to pay in bail money. Our Utah bail lawyer, Darwin Overson of Overson Law, PLLC, invites you to keep reading as we discuss how much bail costs for Class A offenses in Utah.
How Much Bail Will I Have to Post for a Class A Misdemeanor in Utah?
After being arrested and charged with a crime, you will be booked and sent to jail, pending your scheduled hearing before a judge. During your hearing, the judge will determine whether they will grant you bail. “Bail” is the amount of money you will need to pay in order to be set free from jail pending any other scheduled hearing(s). Typically, the judge is the one responsible for setting the bail amount.
For many people, posting bail means you will be set free, but that is not the whole story. Posting bail doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. Instead, bail allows you to be free while you wait for future court proceedings. The bail money you post at your “bail hearing” can be recovered if – and only if – you meet all requirements set forth by the court and appear at your next court date.
The amount of bail you will need to pay will depend on the crime you are being charged with. It is essential to understand bail is different for every case. Additionally, there are cases where bail privileges will not be available. For instance, if you were charged with a first-degree felony such as murder in Salt Lake City, you may not have access to bail.
There are also instances where a judge may deny bail based on your case. For example, if the court finds you represent a flight risk, you may not get bail and will remain in custody through your trial. A detainee can be considered a flight risk if they have little-to-no ties to the community, have a history of skipping court dates, or otherwise seem like they might not come back if set free. Additionally, if you present a danger to the community, you might have bail denied.
The adult criminal courts in Utah use a uniform bail schedule in determining the amount of bail that should be set. This schedule looks at the alleged crime to determine the amount. While judges may have discretion in terms of setting bail, they mostly stick to Utah’s bail schedule when setting bail at a bail hearing.
What Are Some Examples of Class A Offenses that May Qualify for Bail in Utah?
In many cases, Class A misdemeanors in Utah may qualify for bail. There is an extensive list of Class A misdemeanors within Utah’s master list of criminal offenses. However, we have narrowed the list down to some of the most common types of class A criminal offenses that may qualify for bail in Utah.
Assault Causing Substantial Bodily Injury
Assault in Salt Lake City and throughout Utah is a serious criminal offense. According to Utah Code § 76-5-102, assault can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor when an individual inflicts “substantial bodily injury” on the victim. This type of criminal offense can lead to a lengthy period behind bars and steep fines. For instance, if you are convicted of assault under Utah Code § 76-5-102, you may spend up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. In addition to these penalties, you risk having a criminal record, which can cause many challenges, even years after your conviction. Still, bail is allowed with these charges.
Violation of Domestic Violence Protective Order
In Utah – as well as many other states in the country – there are thousands of domestic violence cases reported every year. In most of these cases – and depending on its specific circumstances – the court grants a protective order in favor of the alleged victim. The defendant must abide by the court order and refrain from contacting the victim or performing any of the other conduct barred by the order. However, not everyone follows the rules, and court-ordered domestic violence protective orders are often violated. Violating a protective order can lead to Class A misdemeanor charges, which can lead to jail time and hefty fines.
Theft charges in Salt Lake City or anywhere else in Utah are also common offenses for which you may face Class A misdemeanor charges. The severity of your penalty will heavily depend on the value of the merchandise you were accused of taking. For instance, you might face Class A misdemeanor charges if the stolen property has a value of more than $500 but less than $1,500. You may be looking at up to a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.
How Can I Post Bail in Utah?
There are different ways to post bail in Utah in order to get released from jail. It is crucial to remember bail doesn’t mean you will be off the hook for any pending charges you may have, but posting bail can make it easier to get your life in order and work on a defense for the charges against you.
Generally, you can post bail by paying the full bail amount in cash. You can achieve this by depositing the money with the court’s clerk. The court’s clerk will keep the money while your case is pending. If your charges are dismissed and you complied with all bail requirements, you may be able to recover the full amount of your bail.
Another common way to post bail is through a bail bond agency. Through these agencies, people who cannot afford to post bail in its entirety can ask for a bondsman to pay for it in exchange for a fee. Unlike when you pay bail in cash, you will be required to deposit collateral with the bail bond agent. If you violate any conditions of bail, the bail bondsman will lose their payment to the court. To prevent this from happening, they might take your collateral or employ a bounty hunter to ensure you appear in court.
It is always in your best interest to retain the services of a skilled Utah criminal defense attorney who can help you understand what to expect from your case. We might be able to get bail reduced or get charges dropped to help keep you out of jail.
Criminal Defense Attorneys Offering Free Consultations in Utah
If you or a loved one was arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Utah, there is no time to waste. Going through Utah’s criminal justice system can be challenging, especially if you have never been charged with a crime before. Our Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys at Overson Law, PLLC can help you fight the charges against you and help you understand what your options are in your particular case. Call our law offices today for a free, confidential consultation at (801) 758-2287.