Bail Process in Washington
It can be difficult for court officials and law enforcement to persuade those who have been charged with crimes to attend their trial date, creating the need for a system to push offenders to attend. One of the ways that this is done is through jail time. Having people placed under police custody is a great way to ensure that they attend their court date, as the court knows where they are at all times. Another method used in the Bail Process in Washington to assure the attendance of trial is through bail, which refers to the temporary release of a defendant from custody in exchange for a financial guarantee or pledge of property as collateral. What was pledged or given is returned upon the attendance of the trial date; however, if the defendant does not show up to trial, then what was pledged or given is kept by the state.
Purpose of bail
The primary purpose of bail is to strike a balance between the accused person’s right to liberty and the state’s interest in ensuring their presence during legal proceedings. By granting bail, the criminal justice system allows defendants to resume their normal lives, support their families, and adequately prepare for their defense while awaiting trial. It also helps prevent overcrowding in jails, as not every accused person poses a flight risk or danger to society. Hiring an attorney through this process is important as they will not only help you navigate the legal process, but also fervently fight against the charges brought against you. The attorneys at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer are experts in criminal defense and will defend you to the fullest extent of the law.
Understanding the Bail Process in Washington
When an individual is taken into custody for an alleged crime, law enforcement runs them through the booking process which includes taking fingerprints, photographs, and personal information. The accused person is then placed in a holding cell or jail until their bail hearing in which a judge will examine the circumstances of the case and determine whether to grant bail, deny it, or set specific conditions for release. Important factors that may be examined include the severity of the charge, criminal history, financial resources, flight risk, and potential danger to the community. The judge then carefully weighs these factors and will make a decision that aims to ensure the defendant’s appearance in court.
Types of Bail
There are several types of bail, each one is used or granted in different types of situations, giving the defendant options depending on their circumstances. The different categories of bail are as follows:
Personal Recognizance: In certain cases, a judge may grant personal recognizance, also
known as “own recognizance” or “O.R.” release. This means the defendant is released without the need for any financial guarantee, solely based on their promise to appear in court.
Cash Bail: In this form of bail, the defendant or their representative must pay the entire bail amount in cash to secure their release. The cash is held as collateral and is refunded if the defendant fulfills their obligations and appears in court.
Surety Bail: Surety bail involves utilizing the services of a bail bondsman or a bail bond agency. The bail bondsman pays the full bail amount on behalf of the defendant, typically for a fee (usually around 10% of the total bail amount). The bondsman ensures the defendant’s appearance in court and is responsible for the full bail amount if the defendant fails to appear.
Property Bail: As a rare occurrence, defendants may provide a property title as collateral for their release. A property bail allows the court to foreclose on the property if the defendant does not appear for court.
Once bail is granted, there may be conditions placed upon the defendant’s release. Some examples of these conditions may include regular check in with a bail officer, staying within a specific geographical area such as a city or state, avoiding contact with certain individuals, or abstaining from drug and alcohol use.
How Can We Help You?
Bail is a critical aspect of the criminal justice system, enabling defendants to await trial outside of custody. It ensures their right to due process while maintaining public safety. Understanding the bail process and its various forms is essential for individuals seeking the services of a criminal defense firm. Experienced defense attorneys such as the ones at the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer can guide you through the complexities of bail, building a strong and quality defense that will get you the best possible result.
Call the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer at (360) 334-6277 to schedule your free consultation with one of our incredible attorneys today.