People often face a dilemma when they find themselves under arrest and stuck in jail – “should I send money on my bond or on retaining an attorney?” If you ever find yourself in this position and facing the same dilemma, you should know that there is often a way to “kill two birds with one stone.” If you hire an experienced Sarpy County criminal defense lawyer, your lawyer may be able to get your bond reduced. The end result being that you now have an experienced criminal defense attorney defending and protecting you throughout the prosecution of your case and you are able to pay the lower bond. To understand how this works out in your favor, you need to understand a little more about how bond is set and what a judge considers when reviewing bond.
What Is Bond and Why Is It Used in a Criminal Case?
In a criminal case, a bond is used by the court as a way to ensure that a defendant will return for all scheduled court appearances if the defendant is released from custody while the case is pending. The idea being that if a defendant, or the defendant’s family, has put up money in order to secure his/her freedom, it is more likely that he/she will abide by the terms of release and see the case through to the end. When a bond amount is set, there are usually two ways in which to satisfy the bond. One is to pay the entire amount in cash. In that case, you (or the person who posted the bond) will receive the majority of the bond amount back at the conclusion of the case if you do not violate your terms of release. The other option is to use a bondsman. The bondsman acts as a sort of middleman. You pay the bondsman a percentage of the bond, usually 10-20 percent, and the bondsman guarantees the full bond amount with the court to secure the defendant’s release. The percentage you pay the bondsman is his/her fee and will not be returned. If you fail to appear, the bondsman is responsible for paying the full bond to the court if you are not located and returned to custody. This is where “bounty hunters” come into the picture. They are sent by bondsmen to find defendants who have failed to appear for court.
How Is an Initial Bond Amount Determined?
An initial bond amount is set either by a judge when an arrest warrant is issued or shortly after an arrest is made if the arrest was not made pursuant to an arrest warrant. In either case, the bond amount is typically based on a bond schedule which is very impersonal.
Can Bond Be Reviewed and Potentially Lowered?
Yes. The good news is that it is possible to get your initial bond amount lowered if it is too high for you to pay. This is where it makes sense to hire an attorney with the funds you have at your disposal. Your attorney can request a bond reduction hearing once he/she has been retained. As a general rule, a bond reduction hearing is a one shot opportunity, meaning that the court will give you one chance to make a persuasive argument that your bond should be lowered.
How Can a Sarpy County Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
A judge is looking at a narrow set of factors when considering a bond reduction request. An experienced Sarpy County criminal defense lawyer knows what those factors are and how to present evidence and testimony that is most likely to persuade a judge to lower your bond. The simple fact that you hired an attorney often works in your favor at a bond review because judges frequently consider hiring an attorney as an investment in your defense, something that indicates you plan to stick around until the conclusion of your case. Therefore, if you are debating how best to spend the limited resources available to you, hiring a Sarpy County criminal defense lawyer instead of spending the money on your bond is usually the better choice because your attorney is usually the best route to getting your bond reduced.
If you have arrested and the bond set in your case is too high, consider hiring a Sarpy County criminal defense lawyer to help you get your bond lowered. In Sarpy County, Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney.