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Law & Schriener, LLC Aug. 10, 2023

How Does The Process Of Bail Work In Missouri?

In federal court, the Bail Reform Act says that all offenses (with the exception of capital cases i.e., capital murder and death penalty cases) are presumed to be bondable. It says that unless there are no circumstances or combination of circumstances that reasonably ensure that you won’t flee from the jurisdiction, or pose a danger to the community, then you should be given bail. The United States Pretrial Services Office will interview people the minute they come in to the Marshal’s Service with whatever law enforcement agency arrested them. You have a right to have your lawyer present at that interview, which is a good idea.

The U.S. Pretrial Services Office is an excellent organization, but it’s never a bad idea to have your lawyer with you. They’ll interview you about your marital status, whether or not you live in a house by yourself, whether you own or rent your house, whether or not you’re employed, whether or not you have children, the status of your health, etc. They will put together a bond report, which then goes up to the duty magistrate judge. You have a right to look at it and call to the court’s attention anything that’s inaccurate. You would then have a chance to argue to the court, or even to present evidence in support of a different bond than that which Pretrial recommends. If the prosecutor is opposing bond, you can have an actual hearing and call the witnesses that you choose in an attempt to show that you should be allowed bond. The prosecutor’s recommendation is usually going to hold in federal court, but I don’t find that to be as true in state court.

You may have to have a hearing to convince the judge to either lower the bond amount that’s been recommended or to permit you to post 10% of the amount that’s been recommended or to post property of an equivalent value as security. Alternatively, you may have to try to convince the judge to let you out on your own recognizance. All of those things are possible arguments which are going to depend largely on the specific facts of your case. One of the biggest mistakes that people make in this area is hiring a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman is going to take 10% from you, which you will not get back. If you pay the court 10%, then you are going to get it back at the end of the case and you can use it toward payment of your attorney’s fees.

What Paperwork Am I Leaving The Jail With After I Am Released?

The court will usually give you something that tells you when your next court date is, so at a bare minimum that is what you will leave with. The next best thing to do is contact an attorney. Your attorney will walk you through what to anticipate for the upcoming court dates.

Will I Have A Criminal Court Appearance In The First Month After An Arrest?

Yes, you should have a criminal court appearance within the first month of an arrest. In federal court, an initial appearance, bond hearing (if necessary), and arraignment will likely be scheduled within the first week after you are arrested. In state court, an attorney can help to make certain that you have your initial appearance, arraignment and bond hearing within the first week or two after an arrest. Again, in both federal and state court, you can be charged by different kinds of pleadings. You can be charged by a grand jury indictment, which means that the grand jury has found probable cause to believe that you committed the crime of which you’re accused. In state court, people are typically initially charged by way of a complaint, which happens less often in federal court. If you are charged by a complaint, then you have the right to an additional hearing, which is called the preliminary hearing (in state court) or preliminary examination (in federal court). That’s because a complaint is just a pleading that the prosecutor files with the court, so at that point no grand jury has listened to the facts or made any decisions.

When we are charged with a crime, we have the right for there to be a finding of probable cause by a grand jury or by a judge before the case can move forward. A preliminary hearing or a preliminary examination is when the judge listens to the evidence and makes a decision about probable cause. So, it gives you an extra opportunity to listen to and cross-examine the charging state or federal government witnesses. You are almost certain to have one of those three or four hearings within the first month.

For more information on Process Of Bail In Missouri, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling today.


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