In the state of Utah, events after your arrest that can have a great impact on the rest of your criminal case happen very quickly. Being placed under arrest can put you into a state of shock, denial, and confusion, but it is imperative that you act immediately to protect yourself and your constitutional rights. The most important thing you can do at this early stage of your case is to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. The quicker they are retained, the quicker they can get to work on prepping for your pretrial release hearing, where a judge will decide whether you can be released from custody or must remain in detention until the underlying charge is resolved.
At Overson & Bugden, our skilled Utah pretrial release hearing attorneys have years of experience successfully working with clients from across the state to get them released on little to no bail. We understand the factors the judge takes into consideration when deciding whether to hold you or set bail and we can use our knowledge and experience to make the most persuasive argument for your release. Then we can get to work helping get the charges against you downgraded or dismissed. For a free consultation, call our firm today at (801) 758-2287.
Events Leading Up to a Utah Pretrial Release Hearing
In Utah, most of the time when the police suspect you of committing a crime, they will place you under arrest and you will be taken to the local police station for what is known as the intake or booking process. This process involves the police photographing and fingerprinting you, taking any items that were on your person at the time of the arrest and inventorying them for safekeeping, and collecting your biographical information. You will then be held in the holding cell or at the local jail until your pretrial release hearing can be held, usually within 48 hours, but typically much quicker than this. While you are being detained, the police will usually allow you to make a phone call, which you should use to either contact a skilled criminal defense attorney like those at Overson & Bugden or to contact a trusted loved one who can reach out to us on your behalf. The quicker you get in touch with us, the more time we will have to prepare for your release hearing.
Utah Pretrial Release Hearing Explained
The pretrial release hearing is also known as the bail hearing, because it is the hearing where it will be decided whether bail is set and what amount it is set at. However, the judge will have other options at the hearing aside from setting bail, such as ruling that you must remain detained for the duration of your case, which usually only occurs with very serious charges like homicide or in cases where you have a serious criminal record. The judge can also release you on your own recognizance, meaning without bail, or with non-monetary conditions like attending counseling or checking in with the court.
If the judge decides to set bail, they will first look to the Utah Uniform Bail Schedule. These state guidelines recommend a bail amount for each crime, when taken into conjunction with your prior criminal history. However, the judge also has the discretion to set bail at a lower amount based on the finding of “extenuating circumstances.” Our skilled pretrial hearing attorneys at Overson & Bugden know how the make the most persuasive arguments to get the judge to release you on little to no bail, based on such factors as your criminal history of lack thereof, your ties and contributions to the community, your flight risk, and the nature and the severity of the offense charged.
What If I Cannot Afford Bail in Utah?
If, even after our lawyers work to get your bail set at the lowest possible amount, you still are unable to afford it, you have the option of using the services of bail bondsman who will put up a surety bond with the court on your behalf. We have reputable bail bondsmen that our office can recommend to you if this is a service that you require. Usually, the bail bondsman will require you to pay an upfront fee of about 10% of the bail amount. If you fail to appear in court as required, the bail bondsman will owe the court the full amount and will seek you out for repayment.
If you are still unable to afford bail even with the help of a bondsman, our skilled criminal defense attorneys at Overson & Bugden can file a motion for the judge to modify the original bail decision. We will be given a hearing at which we can make a more extensive argument for why your bail should be set lower, based on a holistic view of you including economic factors that the court may not have initially considered. We can also introduce the testimony of character witnesses who can speak to your good character and reputation in the community. If this hearing is unsuccessful, any future hearings for reconsideration of bail will only occur in cases were there has been a material change in circumstances.
Call Our Seasoned Utah Pretrial Release Hearing Attorneys Today
Because the pretrial release hearing often occurs very quickly after your arrest, it is important that you keep your head on straight and focus on the important steps you need to take, the first of which is you or a loved one reaching out to an experienced Utah pretrial release hearing attorney like those at Overson & Bugden as soon as possible. Our skilled attorneys understand the ins and outs of this hearing and the best arguments to make to get you released on minimal bail or on your own recognizance. If the release decision does not come down the way we like, we can file a motion to reconsider or modify bail. Then, our attorneys can start working on dealing with the underlying charges resulting from your arrest. Reach out to us today at (801) 758-2287 for a free consultation.