In my opinion of 35 years of criminal offense experience, the bail process is the single most critical aspect of a case. You’re brought before a judge, probably still a little bewildered, never expecting to be arrested, and the judge must make a decision. Should I hold you in jail while the case is pending for six months to a year to two years, or should I release you on your own promise to come back to court each and every time, or is there some amount of money I should require as the court to make you post as security to make sure you’ll come back to court each and every time?
Many factors go into the bail decision in a bail hearing. First of all, how strong are your community ties? Are you from the area? Were you educated in the area? Do you live in the area? Do you have family in the area? Do you work in the area? Those are strong community ties. What’s the offense? What’s the potential penalties of the offense? What’s the level of evidence against you? What are some of the defenses? What is the recommendation of the District Attorney’s office? At the end of the day, you have to prove that you are not a risk to flee and that you’ll come back to court each and every time.
The number one best way to assure a low bail is to have retained legal counsel at your bail hearing. It shows that you’re responsible. It shows your family has the ability and the availability to get a defense attorney to speak on your behalf and explain all these factors to the judge versus a legal aid attorney or an attorney that works for every single person arraigned that day and spent less than 30 seconds speaking to you.