A carefully though-out bail application can often make a major difference in whether the accused is released from jail or even the amount of bail. If the accused is not released, it is far more difficult to prepare for trial and being in jail could impact the jury’s perception of the accused. This is particularly the case if the jury sees the transport deputies seated near the accused.
During the bail application, the attorney for the accused must keep in mind the purpose of bail is not to punish or to prevent crime, but rather to assure the accused’s presence in court when required. Furthermore, even negative aspects of the accused’s background, or of the case itself, should be presented in the most favorable light to offset any claims by the People there is a risk of flight.
For example, if the accused has had prior arrests, the attorney may point out the accused always appeared in court when required or reported regularly to probation. Or, where the accused was arrested at the scene of the crime without resistance, the fact the accused fully cooperated should be brought to the court’s attention. Voluntary surrender, or the fact the accused di not flee even when aware of a pending investigation, are other factors that may be appropriately noted to the court.
The attorney should also try and find out what the client and his or her relatives can post as bail, and suggest that form of bail to the court. Generally, the court will order bail in the form of Cash, Bond, or Property.
Along with addressing the factors related to bail, counsel must also be prepared to address additional restrictions which could be imposed. Such conditions could include an order of protection, turning in a pistol permit, passport, and requiring the accused to remain in a certain jurisdiction.
If possible, the attorney should try to make sure the accused has relatives or an employer attend the arraignment. Not only will their presence indicate the accused has roots in the community and thus an incentive to appear in court rather than flee, but the court will have to consider sending a parent, spouse or child back to jail, rather than a person who is not responsible for anyone other than himself.
Finally, some counties have a pretrial release organization to advise the court of the accused’s worthiness for release. This organization may interview the accused while he or she is jailed, verify his community contacts, and determine whether to recommend release. The criteria typically used include the following factors: roots int eh community; verifiable address; contact with family or significant others; means of support; and prior failure to appear in court. Counsel should know of this evaluation before making the bail application.
Clearly, the law is quite complicated and every situation is unique. Please be advised, this is not legal advice. For a free consultation, contact a criminal attorney buffalo ny or criminal lawyer buffalo ny today.