Bail and Bond Hearing Lawyer Pittsburgh

BAIL AND BONDS—POSTING BAIL IN PENNSYLVANIA

When you are arrested for a crime, it is sometimes possible to be released from jail on bail, depending on the crime.

However, bail can be complex. The court considers a lot of different factors when determining how a defendant’s bail should be set.

Having a Pittsburgh defense attorney can be invaluable at a bail hearing. They can make sure that the bail is not excessive and can even argue on your behalf to have it lowered. In addition, they can help you secure a bail bondsman in the event you cannot pay for the bail on your own.

If a restriction on bail was placed against you (Nebbia Orders), an attorney may help get the order lifted.

Awaiting a criminal trial is scary and can present a lot of challenges. Spending time at home with your family rather than in jail is important.

Seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately upon arrest. They can make sure that the bail you receive is fair and help you spend your time at home rather than in jail.

If you have been charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, the best way to defend your rights and your future is to contact an experienced attorney for a free consultation.

An experienced criminal attorney can help you understand your charges—beginning with making sure your bail is not excessive or inappropriate.

PITTSBURGH CRIMINAL LAWYER
CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

HOW BAIL IS DETERMINED IN PENNSYLVANIA

Bail is the court’s way of making sure that defendants show up at hearings and at trial. Many factors are taken into consideration when determining a defendant’s bail.

When a crime has been committed, a suspect is taken into custody and goes through the booking process. Once that is complete, they wait in holding for up to 72 hours to appear before a magisterial judge who is responsible for setting bail (at the preliminary arraignment).

Not every criminal offense will require that bail be set. Bail is typically reserved for felony and misdemeanor cases.

There are four different types of bail the court can use; including both monetary and non-monetary. The circumstances of each individual case are used in determining the appropriate type of bail.

Failure to obey the conditions of bail, or failure to appear at scheduled court hearings is a violation of bail. Violating bail will result in a warrant for your arrest, called a bench warrant, and you will go to jail and be responsible for the full bail amount when caught.

TYPES OF BAIL

A judge or magistrate will determine which type of bail is appropriate in your case. The circumstances of each defendant and each case will be taken into consideration when determining which type of bail is set.

There are typically four types of bail in criminal cases in Pennsylvania. They include:

  1. Released on Own Recognizance (ROR): no money is exchanged for your release but you are must be present at all scheduled court hearings. This type of bail is common in lesser misdemeanor cases. A summons is received in the mail telling you when and where to appear in court.
  2. Non-Monetary Bond: A defendant can be released without payment of cash bail, but there are restrictions and conditions imposed by the court that must be followed.
  3. Monetary Bond: This type of bail is the one most common in higher grade misdemeanors and felonies. The judge sets the amount and determines if it will be a whole or percentage bond. If it is required that the whole amount be paid, the defendant must pay in cash or bond in full to be released. If it is percentage based, defendant only pays the set percentage in case or bond to be released. If defendant fails to appear in court, they will be responsible for the full amount of the bail. The Court can require a cash only bail.
  4. Bond Denial/Revocation: This typically occurs when a non-monetary condition of bail is violated. The defendant will be required to go immediately to jail, or, have a new monetary bond set.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR CRIMINAL CHARGES DISMISSED.
CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

NON-MONETARY CONDITIONS TO BAIL

The court may not find that a cash or monetary bail is necessary. In cases where a defendant has strong ties to the community and is likely to make court appearances, this is often the case. However, the court does have the right to place certain conditions upon the defendant for their release.

There can be any number of restrictions placed on defendants that do not include money.

Some of the most common conditions to bail placed on defendants include:

  • No consumption of drugs or alcohol;
  • No further criminal activity;
  • No contact with the victim or victim’s family;
  • House arrest or wearing a monitoring device;
  • Revocation of passport or travel restrictions.

If the court insists on any non-monetary conditions, it is necessary that the defendant follows the court’s conditions. Failure to do so will lead to the defendant’s arrest and waiting for trial from jail.

The help of a knowledgeable and experienced attorney can be invaluable in making sure your bail is set appropriately. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you should call immediately for a free consultation.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: GETTING YOUR CRIMINAL CHARGES DISMISSED.
CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU CANNOT AFFORD BAIL?

Under the eighth amendment of U.S. Constitution, the court is prohibited from setting “excessive bail.” Bail is considered excessive if it is set higher than the defendant could ever have the means to afford as a means of keeping him/her in jail.

However, the Constitutional restriction on excessive bail does not mean that the court has to make bail affordable for a defendant. The court simply has to be able to justify the amount of the bail. A defendant having the means to afford bail is not a requirement.

If your bail amount is high and you are unable to pay for it yourself, there is an alternative. You can hire a bail bondsman to help. In this situation, the bondsman will pay the bail, or the percentage required for release. You pay the bondsman a non-refundable fee for his services.

As long as you appear in court when required to do so, the bondsman will get his money back at the conclusion of your case. However, if you fail to appear at scheduled court hearings and/or trial, the bondsman has the right to detain you and turn you into authorities.

CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN BAIL CAN BE DENIED

There are certain circumstances that occur in criminal cases that give the court the authority to deny bail and make the defendant await their trial in jail.

In cases where the offense is punishable by life in prison or a death sentence, the defendant will likely be denied bail.

Some of the most common reasons why bail is denied include:

  • The defendant is considered a flight risk. This means that the court has information that leads them to conclude that the defendant will not voluntarily show up for court hearings. This is based on criminal history, attitude, and location.
  • The defendant committed a crime while on probation, parole, or awaiting trial on other criminal charges.
  • Severe offenses that lead the court to believe the defendant is a risk to public safety. This would include murder or other charges that involve severe bodily harm.
  • The defendant is homeless or not a citizen of the United States. If the court feels you cannot be contacted or are likely to flee to escape facing charges, they can hold you in jail.

OUR CLIENTS COME FIRST

We understand that our clients are often under a great deal of stress. Facing criminal charges can turn your world upside down. Awaiting trial in the comfort of your own home, with your family by your side, is one way to ease the burden. That’s why we take the time to fully understand your needs and explain your rights under the law.

Call Ketchel Law for a free legal consultation at 412-456-1221

If you have been arrested for a crime and are awaiting a bail hearing, call Justin Ketchel immediately at (412) 456-1221 or contact him online.

During the initial free case evaluation, Attorney Ketchel will listen to your concerns and work with you to achieve the best outcome possible. The sooner you call, the better his chances of getting you out on no bail, or significantly lowered bail.

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We offer free legal consultations to anyone charged with a crime. Call us today to find out how we can help defend your rights.

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OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: HAVING YOUR CRIMINAL CHARGES REDUCED OR DISMISSED.

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION