Salt Lake City Bail Hearing Attorney
Getting arrested can be a terrifying and disorienting experience, especially for someone who has never been involved with the criminal justice system before. You may feel totally helpless and despondent and not know what to do or where to turn. However, you need to act quickly and decisively to retain counsel and protect your rights. Not long after your arrest, a bail hearing will be held where the judge will make major decisions about whether or not you need to be held in jail until the underlying matter is resolved.
At Overson Law, PLLC, our Salt Lake City bail hearing attorneys have years of experience successfully fighting for our clients to be released with little to no bail. We understand the factors that the judge considers and how to craft the best argument that you deserve to be released. We can also assist you in procuring a bail bondsman if needed. For a free consultation, call us today at (801) 758-2287.
How Bail Hearings Work in Salt Lake City
After you are arrested, you will typically be taken to the local police station for what is known as the booking process. Sometimes, for low-level crimes and infractions, the police may simply release you with a summons telling you when your court date is. However, most of the time you will be placed under arrest and photographed and fingerprinted at the local station. Once this process is complete, you will be taken to a holding cell in the precinct or to the local detention center where you will be held until an arraignment and bail hearing can be held.
The bail hearing will occur within 48 hours of your booking. Usually, unless it is the weekend, the hearing happens a lot faster. This is why it is vital that you or a loved one contact an experienced Salt Lake City bail hearing lawyer like those at Overson Law, PLLC as soon as possible after you are arrested. You will definitely want to have your lawyer at the bail hearing to argue for your release. Our attorneys understand the most persuasive arguments and how to frame them within the unique circumstances of each case.
At the bail hearing, the judge will determine whether you can be released without bail, with bail, or if you cannot be released at all and must stay incarcerated until the underlying matter is resolved. The former, release without bail, is also known as released on your own recognizance. This usually is reserved for cases where the crime is relatively low-level and the defendant has no criminal history. The latter, no release, is reserved for the most serious crimes or for defendants who have a history of skipping bail.
How Cash Bail is Set at a Salt Lake City Bail Hearing
Most of the time, cash bail will be set by the judge. Note that the judge does also have the discretion to impose non-monetary conditions like mandatory counseling and staying out of trouble as conditions of your release. For cash bail, the judge will usually look to a set of guidelines known as the Utah Uniform Bail Schedule. These guidelines are set by a state commission and give a suggested bail amount for all crimes in the state.
The severity of the crime, such as whether it is a misdemeanor or felony and its grade, is one factor taken into account by the Schedule. However, it will also factor in your criminal history, which will be rated on a scale from poor to excellent depending on how extensive it is. Thus, if you are arrested for DUI for the first time, the guidelines will suggest a lower bail amount than if you are arrested after 3 previous DUI convictions.
The judges in bail hearings tend to follow the Uniform Bail Schedule most of the time. However, they are permitted to deviate from the amount suggested if they find that a case presents “extenuating circumstances.” Some of the factors a judge will take into consideration include the defendant’s criminal history, the defendant’s history of appearing for required court dates, the defendant’s person character and reputation in the community, and the nature and severity of the crime alleged. An experienced Salt Lake City bail hearing attorney like those at Overson Law, PLLC will be able to craft the best arguments for your release on less bail than the schedule suggests based on these and other factors.
Dealing with a Salt Lake City Bail Bondsman
Sometimes, you may not be financially able to pay the amount of bail the judge sets. In particular cases where more severe crimes are alleged, the judge can impose cash-only bail, meaning you cannot use the services of a bondsman. However, most of the time, you are permitted to have the bondsman act as a surety. In exchange for you paying a small fraction of the bail amount to them, usually 10%, the bondsman will agree to pay the court the full amount if you skip bail and do not appear in court.
Our Salt Lake City bail hearing attorneys can refer you to a reputable bail bondsman in the area. If you do not show up for court, however, any bail bondsman who acted as a surety will come after you and anyone else who co-signed for the full amount they had to pay the court. If you try to avoid repayment, they are known to employ such tactics as sending bounty hunters to track you down.
Call Our Skilled Salt Lake City Bail Hearing Attorneys Today
While many people understand that they need a lawyer for a criminal trial, some do not realize that it is just important to have competent counsel at your side for a bail hearing, where a decision will be made that could end with you spending months or years in jail awaiting trial. At Overson Law PLLC, we know how high the stakes are when your liberty is involved. We will fight at your bail hearing for you to be released with minimal to no bail. After that, we can get started on the rest of your case. Call us today at (801) 758-2287 for a free consultation.