Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
After receiving a desperate call from you wife begging you to bail her out of jail, you are likely to feel more scared and helpless than you ever have in your life. Especially if you have never before had experience with the criminal justice system, you may have no idea what steps you should take next to help bring your wife home to safety. At the Law Offices of Andrew Shubin, our State College, PA criminal defense attorneys are here to guide you and your wife through each step of this convoluted process. We will fight to get your wife out of jail with little to no bail. For a free consultation, call us today at (814) 826-3586.
The Bail Process in State College, PA
After your wife is arrested, she will be taken to the local police station for what is known as the booking process. She will be fingerprinted and photographed and the police will inventory any possessions she had on her at the time of her arrest. After the booking, your wife will be detained, usually in the station’s holding cell but possibly in a local detention center, until she can get before a judge for a preliminary arraignment. This usually takes place within 24 hours of booking, but could take up to 72 hours.
A bail hearing will typically take place at the same time as the preliminary arraignment. This usually happens over a videoconferencing system set up in your cell, rather than in person. There is no guarantee for your wife to have an attorney for this hearing, but an attorney can make a big difference in convincing the judge to release your wife with minimal or no bail. At the Law Offices of Andrew Shubin, our attorneys understand the most persuasive arguments to be made before each judge.
Typically, the judge will look to Pennsylvania’s bail guidelines, issued each year by the state, to determine if bail is needed and how much is needed. These guidelines take into consideration the severity of the crime alleged to have been committed as well as any past criminal history that your wife may have. Particularly for severe crimes such as sexual assault charges, these guidelines can be harsh. However, the judge does have leeway to make a decision outside of these guidelines if they believe the circumstances call for it. Factors the judge will consider include whether your wife is a flight risk, whether the seriousness of the alleged crime suggests she could be a danger to the public, her prior criminal record, and her ties to the community.
Types of Bail in State College, PA
While there are many variations, there are five central types of bail that a judge can offer in a State College criminal case. Each of these types of bail and their consequences for your wife and her case are explored below.
Release on Your Own Recognizance
Release on your own recognizance means release without monetary bail or any conditions aside from staying out of trouble and showing up for court on your assigned dates. This is the best form of bail that can be granted, and it is often reserved for lower-level charges and cases where individuals do not have any prior criminal record.
Release on Non-Monetary Conditions
While bail is typically set in terms of money, the judge also has the option to condition your wife’s release on her complying with certain non-monetary conditions. Example includes attending drug or alcohol counseling, seeing a therapist or social worker, or staying within a certain geographical area. If your wife violates the conditions, a bench warrant will be issued and cash bail will likely be set.
Release on Unsecured Bail
The first option in terms of monetary bail is what is known as release on unsecured bail. While a bail amount will be specified by the judge, you and your wife will not be required to put any money down toward it before your wife is released. Instead, your wife will simply be required to sign a document stating that if she fails to appear for a scheduled court date, she will owe the full bail amount to the court.
Release on a Monetary Condition
This is perhaps the most commonly understood form of bail. The judge will look at the bail guidelines and listen to arguments from your attorney and then set bail at a specific dollar amount. In order for your wife to be released from jail, you will have to put up the full amount, either through cash or through a lien on your property such as your home. If your wife fails to show up for court, you risk losing the money or having your property repossessed.
Release on Nominal Bail
Release on nominal bail is similar to release on a monetary condition, except that you do not actually put up all the money yourself. Rather, you go through a bail bondsman who will issue a surety bond. Often, you will have to put up your home or other proper as collateral to receive such a bond. The bondsman will then post the majority of what is required, with you and your wife putting up a “nominal” amount of 10% of the total.
While this may seem like a good deal, it can go bad quickly if your wife misses court and the court informs the bail bondsman that they will be retaining the full amount. The bail bondsman will come after whoever signed the bond for repayment. If they cannot find you, they will send bounty hunters and employ other tactics to ensure they get paid.
If You Have Questions About Bail, Call Our State College Criminal Defense Attorneys Today
The idea of a loved one like your wife spending time behind bars is scary. At the Law Offices of Andrew Shubin, our State College criminal defense attorneys have years of experience fighting to get our clients released quickly with minimal or no bail. We can also help her deal with the underlying charges, and if she is a student, can even represent her at any misconduct or disciplinary hearings at her school as well. For a free consultation, call us today at (814) 826-3586.