Are There Limits to How Much Bail a Judge Can Require?

Lackawanna County bail bondsWhen a judge sets a bail amount, it is done with a mutual understanding that the suspect will return to court on the date of the trial. Certain factors guide the judge’s decision on how much bail is set.

The Eighth Amendment to the United States requires that the amount of bail not be excessive. The amount of bail should not exceed what is necessary to keep the suspect from fleeing the jurisdiction before the case is over. In fact, if a judge sets bail too high continuously, he or she risks losing their seat on the bench.

Technically, there is not a limit to how high a bail amount can go. The highest bail in United States history occurred in 2009 when Raj Rajaratnam was charged with engaging in a massive insider trading scheme that generated more than $25 million in illicit gains. He was released on $100 million bail.

In certain cases of murder or repeat offenders, or if the suspect is considered to be a flight risk, no bail options will be offered. A judge will also be unlikely to set bail if the suspect currently has a warrant out for his or her arrest. When bail is denied, the suspect remains locked up until the trial date.

For Lackawanna County bail bond services and more, contact Liberty Bail Bonds. We offer solutions for clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania.

Why a Bail Bond is Better than Cash Bail

Bucks County bail bondsThe idea of going to jail can be overwhelming and frightening. When you or your loved one needs to be bailed out, the natural sense of urgency to get out of custody may incline you to simply pay the court in cash. However, there are a few things to know first about paying cash for bail versus securing a bail bond.

Maintain Privacy
Posting cash bail on behalf of yourself or another person becomes public information once the cash is posted. If you secure a bail bond instead through a trusted local bail bond company, your information will be received in strict confidence.

Access to a Lawyer
If you post cash bail, the court will likely assume that you also have access to the funds needed for a lawyer. Subsequently, the court may refuse to appoint you a lawyer.

Protection from Bail Forfeiture
A technical bail violation (even an unintentional one) can result in complete bail forfeiture. For instance, if the court changes the department in which your case is being heard (which is common), and you fail to appear in the reassigned department, your bail will be forfeited. The same applies if you are a few minutes late, or even if you are in the restroom and miss your name being called. With a Bucks County bail bond, you will be protected from losing straight cash if such an instance occurs.

Parole vs. Probation: What’s the Difference?

Lackawanna County bail bondsParole and probation are both alternatives to incarceration where the accused must follow strict rules and guidelines. He or she would also be expected to submit to warrantless searches at any time. Both parole and probation are certainly preferred over living in a jail cell, but what exactly is the difference between the two?

Probation refers to a period of time before the accused is sent to prison. When a defendant receives probation, the judge gives them an opportunity to show that they want to rehabilitate themselves rather than pronouncing the sentence and sending them straight to prison. Either the defendant is given probation without a pre-determined sentence, or the judge will find the defendant guilty and temporarily suspend the sentence while he/she is on probation. If a defendant does everything the judge instructs them to do, then they will not be sent to prison to finish their sentence. However, if the defendant violates their probation conditions, they will be given a new jail sentence based on the probation violation in addition to the initial crime. (If you have recently been arrested, it’s important to seek Lackawanna County bail bonds before wondering the possibility of probation.)

Meanwhile, parole is an early release from prison for reasons such as good behavior. The defendant instead serves the rest of their sentence in the community, but is required to regularly report to a parole authority in person, by mail, or by telephone. Conditions of parole may include requiring the defendant to stay in a halfway house and continuing with payments on fines. If a defendant fails to comply with his parole conditions, then the parole officer could file a report with the parole board, resulting in the defendant’s return to prison.

Can I Leave Pennsylvania If I’m out on Bail?

Erie county bail bondsLet’s say you were arraigned and are currently out on a bail bond after being arrested for a minor offense. However, you had plans to visit family in Texas this month, and your flight tickets are non-refundable. Is it still possible to take the trip and leave the state if you are out on bail? And if so, how can you do so without facing more trouble?

If you’ve signed for Erie County bail bonds, it’s very important to know any rules or restrictions surrounding your bail. When you were released on bond, you became subject to the terms and conditions of released established by the court. Typically, leaving the state is not one of these conditions. Once you have verified this for your particular case, it is still best to inform your local bail bondsman, your lawyer, and the court of any travel plans you may have. This way, it won’t appear that you are skipping on bail.

The judge’s instructions are the most important when it comes to your bail, so if you were ordered to stay in the state, it is mandatory to abide the law and do so. Otherwise, you could find yourself back in jail in addition to owing your local bail bondsman the full amount for the bond.

What to Expect If You Miss Your Court Date

Adams County bail bondsWondering what will happen if you miss your court date? Make sure to keep reading – chances are, the following information will have you more than willing to show up to your court appearance early.

When you obtain Adams County bail bonds from a bail bondsman, they are providing the money needed to secure your release. Those funds are essentially a promise that you will be present for your next court date. Failure to appear in court can be called “skipping bail”.

To put it simply, if you miss your court date, it is likely the judge will issue a warrant for your arrest. If the case involves something minor, such as a traffic violation, these warrants are not actively pursued. However, if you run afoul of the law in that county again, just one more traffic violation such as a speeding ticket could land you in jail.

For more serious offenses, law enforcement will actively pursue bringing you in when the judge issues a warrant. Your bond conditions will also be revoked. Not to mention, you will be facing a whole new case in addition to your current one, as missing a court appearance is a crime within itself.

Finally, if property or money was put up for your bond, the collateral will be kept by the court system if you fail to appear in court. You will also be facing harsher fines, longer jail sentences and an angry judge.

Thankfully, rescheduling your court date beforehand is possible if absolutely needed. You can ask the county clerk yourself to reschedule it, or your lawyer can ask for a different date.

Bail Bonds: A Brief History

Pennsylvania bail bond companyYou know that whether you’re in Pittsburgh, Allentown, Reading, or anywhere else in Pennsylvania, Liberty Bail Bonds are the experts that you’re going to call when you’re in need of a Pennsylvania bail bond company. But do you know where the idea of bail originated? Pre-trial release dates all the way back to ancient Roman times, but the way the Romans approached bail is much different than the process most bail bond companies use today.

According to research done by Timothy R. Schnacke, Michael R. Jones, and Claire M. Brooker, “bail bond decisions are all about prediction, albeit today about the prediction of a defendant’s probability of making all court appearances and not committing any new crimes.” In America’s beginning, English laws were occasionally carried over, but began evolving almost immediately. Their research goes on to state that,” It is commonly believed that the first true commercial money bail bondsmen, persons acting as sureties by pledging money or property to fulfill money bail bond conditions for a criminal defendant in court, were Peter and Thomas McDonough in San Francisco, who began underwriting bonds as favors to lawyers who drank in their father’s bar.”

Bail reform was very common from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. While Pennsylvania bail bonds and the duties of bail bondsmen continue to evolve, we at Liberty Bail Bonds know how to work fast and efficiently secure the release of your loved one.

Pennsylvania Bail Bonds – The Most Affordable Bail Option

lackawanna county bail bondsThere are many different bail options in the state of Pennsylvania. If you or a loved one ends up in jail following a legal situation, you’ll not only want to guarantee a quick release, but also that you’re getting the most of your money. Keep reading to learn why Pennsylvania bail bonds are the most affordable option.

Depending on the crime that’s been committed, bail can be high – and not many of us have thousands of dollars freely available to spend on cash bail. This is where bail bondsmen come in. You can secure a Lackawanna County bail bond by paying a bail bond fee (a small percentage of the bail amount) to a bail bondsman, who will then cover the remaining amount for someone’s release.

Additionally, bail agents are very familiar with the bail bond process, so they have the ability to work quickly and secure the release of your friend or family member. By obtaining the help of a bail bondsman, you can help prevent your loved one from staying in jail any longer than they have to.

To secure a bail bond, all you’ll need is a trusted local bail bondsman, the bail bond fee, and the means to show up to all of your court dates. Contact us now to learn about your bail bond options.

Why to Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

erie county bail bondsWe’ve all heard it before (at least on television): “You have the right to remain silent.  If you choose to give up your right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…

However, if you’ve found yourself in trouble, it’s not uncommon for an officer to follow this statement with questions such as “You want to tell me what’s going on here?”

Your first inclination may be to respond to the officer in an attempt to negotiate your way out of trouble, or to show that you’re being cooperative. The problem is that the officer isn’t seeking a way to justify letting you go; he is seeking a way to justify arresting you. However, if you choose not to answer the officer’s questions, you will effectively be depriving him/her (as well as a prosecutor) of evidence that may have potentially been used against you down the line.

Also, if an officer encourages you to talk with statements like “We can make things easier for you if you work with us”, remember that he has no authority to dismiss any charges. These decisions are made solely by the prosecutor.

If you’ve been arrested in Pennsylvania, you can receive the support you need in the form of Erie county bail bonds. From misdemeanor to felony charges, we have the right Pennsylvania bail bonds at the right rates for you.

Should You Ask for a Jury Trial?

Courtroom, Benches, Seats, Law, JusticeIf you’re already in the process of seeking a local bail bondsman, you are likely already aware that the United States court system has two types of trials: bench trials or jury trials. Being aware of the differences, advantages and disadvantages of each is an important part of preparing for your trial. Your attorney may also be able to advise which choice of trial is best for your case.

Bench Trial
At a bench trial, there is no jury involved. A judge decides the credibility of the presented evidence, and decides what happens at the trial according to laws and rules of procedure. You have witnessed a bench trial if you’ve ever seen an episode of Judge Judy. A bench trial is a good option if you choose to represent yourself in court. You won’t have to worry about making an opening statement, selecting a jury, or paying jury fees. You will just need to plead your case to the judge who will make the final decision.

Jury Trial
A jury trial involved members of the community to act as the finder of fact. The jury listens to the evidence presented by each side and renders a verdict. The judge handles questions of law and procedure during a jury trial. A jury trial may be more beneficial for you if there is an emotional element to your case, as a jury may be sympathetic to your case and rule in your favor more likely than a judge would.

Facing Your Children After an Arrest

­­­Lackawanna county bail bondsPerhaps you had too many drinks one evening after work, and you decided to drive instead of calling a cab. Perhaps you found yourself in an altercation and your anger got the best of you. Regardless of the reason for your arrest, you have a child that is likely unaware of what’s going on or how it can affect them. How should you and your family address a legal situation when children are involved?

Be Honest
Children cope better when you are honest with them about what has transpired and where their loved one is going. A sudden disappearance without any explanation can leave them confused and scared, and they may begin to imagine that something worse has happened. Avoid lying by saying you’re going on vacation or a business trip; your child is likely to find out the truth down the line, and it’s best for him or her to hear it from a loved one.

Keep It Simple
Although you should be honest, refrain from revealing any unnecessary details, especially if the crime was violent. Simply say what happened, how long you will be away for, and that you being away does not change how you feel about them. Encourage the child to write letters.

Get Help
After explaining the situation to your child, he or she may still be confused or upset. If this is the case and your child demonstrates a change in behavior, have them speak with a licensed professional.

If you have a loved one that’s been arrested and you need help with obtaining Lackawanna county bail bonds, contact us at 1-888-990-3993.