When a loved one is arrested and faces charges, you may be asked to contact a bail bondsman to secure bail for their release. Unfortunately, when you attend the bail hearing, the judge might deny bond, leaving your loved one incarcerated and you confused and wondering what to do next.
Here are a few common reasons why bail is denied and what you can do if your loved one is immediately sent to jail while awaiting trial.
The Crime Committed Was Very Serious
In the United States, a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In most cases, they also have the right to be released on bail or on their own recognizance, or ROR. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and if the defendant is being charged in federal court, the judge has the right to refuse bail. In some areas, a judge can also refuse bail because they believe that releasing the defendant would be dangerous to the public.
The seriousness of the crime typically dictates whether the defendant may be too dangerous to be released. Here are a few felonies that are considered heinous enough to compel the judge to deny bail:
- Violent crimes
- Crimes that could result in life in prison
- Severe drug offences involving a possible 10 or more years in prison
- Serious crimes involving a dangerous weapon
- Serious crimes that involve a minor
If the defendant committed a felony in the past, was ordered to register as a sex offender, and failed to do so, the judge will deny bail.
The Defendant Is Considered a Flight Risk
When a defendant is considered a flight risk, the judge determines that they are likely to disregard the conditions of their bail. For example, the judge may fear the defendant will leave their town or jurisdiction. The prosecutor may argue that a defendant is a flight risk if they:
- Commit a serious felony that could result in a lengthy prison sentence
- Lack ties to the community, family, and friends
- Have a history of disregarding the conditions of bail
- Have the financial assets to flee
If the prosecutor has built a strong case against the defendant, the judge may deny bail because they believe the defendant will flee based upon the powerful evidence against them.
The Defendant Is an Undocumented Immigrant
If your friend or family member is in the United States illegally, the judge may immediately deny bail. The judge is also obligated to contact the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Additionally, undocumented immigrants may be charged with other charges or face deportation.
The Defendant Was Rude to the Judge
When a defendant goes before a judge during a bail hearing, the court expects them to be respectful throughout the process. Unfortunately, some defendants are derisive to the judge or other employees of the court. Depending on the severity of the disrespect, the judge might deny bail immediately.
In a few cases, if the defendant is apologetic to the court after the initial hearing, the judge might reconsider granting bail. However, for the judge to reconsider, the defendant must have committed a felony that is not serious enough to warrant their being denied bail.
What to Do If Your Family Member Is Denied Bail
Unfortunately, if your loved one is denied bail, you cannot persuade the judge to change their mind. All you can do is help your friend or family member build a strong case to prove their innocence. The first step is to hire a defense attorney. If your loved one was denied bail because they are an undocumented immigrant, you will need to hire an immigration attorney as well.
Remember, a defense attorney does not have the knowledge and skills to handle the intricacies of an immigration case, and an immigration lawyer is unlikely to have sufficient training in defense.
If the judge initially denied bail because the defendant was disrespectful in court, find a defense attorney who can convince both the defendant and the judge to reconsider releasing your loved one on bail. If your loved one is eventually granted bail, the first step you need to take is to contact a bail bondsman.
The bondsman will ask for a cosigner on the bond. It is the cosigner’s or the defendant’s responsibility to give the bondsman 15 percent of the total bail amount. The bondsman will then pay the remainder of the bond. The cosigner is financially responsible for the remainder of the bond that was paid by the bail bondsman.
If the defendant doesn’t show up to their court appearances, their bail will be revoked, and the court will issue a warrant for their arrest.
If a loved one is denied bail, it can be difficult to understand what to do next. If you have any further questions about the bail process, contact All Star Bail Bonds.