Even if they’ve never been in trouble with the law, most people have a rough idea about how bail works: A defendant’s release from jail pending trial is secured by money. If the defendant doesn’t have enough cash to pay the bail upfront, they may get a bail bondsman to help.
But what if your bail is so high that you can’t even afford the bail bondsman? It’s important to try to get your bail reduced through a court motion. Here’s why it matters:
- A criminal trial can take months or years to wind to its conclusion. If the case is ultimately dropped or you’re acquitted, you could sit in jail all of that time for no reason. Even if you eventually take a plea deal or are acquitted, you could end up spending more time and jail than allotted by your sentence.
- You have less ability to assist in your own defense while in jail. When you’re confined, you can’t work with your lawyer whenever you want. You could also accidentally damage your defense by dropping your guard and saying something incriminating to a jailhouse informant.
- You can’t do anything to improve your situation. If you’re out of jail, you can take steps that may influence a prosecutor or judge to treat you gently. A defendant charged with a crime related to drug or alcohol addiction, for example, could go into rehab and clean up. It never hurts a case, either, when a defendant is a productive member of their community.
If bail is too high, a defense attorney can often help a defendant get their bail lowered. They may present enough evidence to the court that a judge is willing to question the charges or accepts the idea that you’re no danger to the community. Find out more about the possibilities today.