Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts
No wife wants to receive a late-night phone call from their husband telling her that he has been arrested and needs her help bailing her out of jail. The thought of your husband spending an extended period behind bars can make you feel scared and helpless. If you have no prior experience with the criminal justice system, you may have no idea what you need to do to help him. At The Law Offices of Andrew Shubin, our team of Centre County criminal defense attorneys has years of experienced successfully defending our clients against all sorts of charges. Below, we explain the best steps to take to get your husband out of jail and to begin dealing with his underlying criminal charges.
How Bail is Set in Centre County, PA
After he is arrested in Centre County, your husband will be taken to the local police station for the booking process. During this process, he will be fingerprinted, have his mug shots taken, and any personal items he had on him at the time of arrest will be inventoried for safekeeping. Your husband will then be detained until a preliminary arraignment before a judge. This usually occurs in less than 24 hours, but may take up to 72 hours if he was arrested on the weekend.
Oftentimes, the preliminary arraignment where bail is set will be held via videoconference rather than your husband actually appearing in the courtroom. Your husband will be “videoconferenced” in from his holding cell at the police station for the magistrate to make a decision regarding whether and how he can be released. There is no guarantee for your husband to have a lawyer at this hearing, so it is imperative that you call an experienced criminal defense attorney like those at The Law Offices of Andrew Shubin as soon as your husband is arrested so that they can be present for the preliminary arraignment.
Typically, the judge will look to the bail guidelines set by the state in determining whether bail is required and the amount at which it should be set. These guidelines take into consideration the severity of the crime with which your husband has been charged as well as any previous criminal history he may have. These guidelines can be harsh, particularly for severe crimes such as sexual assault charges, and without a lawyer it is likely they will be applied to your husband’s situation. However, the judge retains discretion to set bail at a different rate or with different conditions than the guideline suggests. A skilled criminal defense attorney will be able to argue that factors such as your husband’s lack of criminal history, the fact that he is not a flight risk, and his ties to the community through family and employment show that he should be released on minimal to no bail.
Types of Bail in Centre County, PA
There are five major types of bail that a judge can choose to grant in Centre County under the Pennsylvania court system. Below, we take you through each of these types and what they will require you to do to get your husband released from jail.
Release on a Monetary Condition
Release on a monetary condition is one of the more commonly understood forms of bail. This type of bail is when a judge, by looking at the bail guidelines and other relevant factors, sets bail at a certain dollar amount. Then, you or another person will put up the bail amount to the court, either through a cash payment or through a lien on property such as your home. If your husband fails to appear for court or skips town, you could end up losing the cash or having your property repossessed.
Release on Nominal Bail
This type of bail involves having a surety bond issued by a licensed bail bondsman. Since your husband is incarcerated, it will be up to you or another family member to contact the bail bondsman to set this up. The bondsman will post the majority of the money required by the court and will require you to pay a nominal amount upfront, usually about 10% of the total amount.
While this may seem like a great deal, things will quickly go south if your husband fails to show up for court as required. The court will require the full amount from the bail bondsman. In turn, the bondman will come after you to repay that money as per your contract. They will often send bounty hunters out to find those who are refusing to pay back what they owe.
Release on Unsecured Bail
The judge also has the option of releasing your husband on what is known as unsecured bail. Instead of actually putting any money down toward the required amount, your husband will simply be required to sign a document saying that if he does not show up to court, he will owe a certain amount of money to the court by default.
Release on Non-Monetary Conditions
The judge has the option to condition your husband’s released on non-monetary conditions rather than on paying a certain amount of money. Some such conditions may include entering a drug or alcohol rehab program, attending counseling, and staying out of further trouble with the law. If your husband violates one of these conditions, a bench warrant may be issued and cash bail will likely be set.
Release on Your Own Recognizance
This is the best type of release you can get. If your husband is released on his own recognizance, he will have no conditions except that he needs to show up for his court dates. If he fails to show up for his court dates, the judge can issue a bench warrant for his arrest, and cash bail will likely be set.
If You Need Help Bailing Your Husband Out of Jail, Call Centre County Criminal Defense Lawyer Andrew Shubin
No one wants to be put in a situation where it is up to them to get their husband out from behind bars. However, if you do find yourself in this situation, it is important that you act fast to retain a lawyer. An experienced Centre County criminal defense attorney like those at The Law Offices of Andrew Shubin will know how to best advocate to the judge for your husband to be released with minimal or no conditions. If your husband is a student, we can also deal with any misconduct or disciplinary hearings at his school as well. For a free consultation, call us today at (814) 826-3586.