This second portion of ‘Demystifying Bail and Bail-Related Information’we will address the subject of what may happen when you go before a judge to have your bail set.

Question Three: What options exist when you go before a Judge in regards to setting bail?

According to RCW 10.21.020, there are four options that exist. A person accused of a crime may be either:

1. Released on personal recognizance;

2. Released on a condition or combination of conditions ordered under RCW 21.030or other provision of law;

3. Temporarily detained as allowed by law; or

4. Detained as provided under chapter 254, Laws of 2010.

Released on personal recognizance is a phrase most of the public is aware of due to it being used often in television shows, crime movies, and the media. It simply means the judge releases you without bail with the good faith belief that you will not commit any crimes during the time you are awaiting your case to be resolved via the judicial process, such as trial or otherwise.

Under the next section, an individual can be released with some conditions. Some of the common conditions are: (1) restrictions regarding travel, (2) abiding by a no contact order (often in domestic violence cases), (3) prohibited from consuming alcohol (usually seen in DUIs), (4) prohibited from driving (also seen in DUIs), (5) required to report regularly to your attorney or department of corrections officer (many cases have this, including drug charges), and of course, (6) prohibited from committing any new violations of law. If you break the law or violate any of the other conditions of your release, you will likely be required to post bail or they will revoke bail if already provided, or increase your bail amount.

Some violations of law may allow the court to temporarily detain you for specific purposes or reasons. One way this may happen is if the person is required to be evaluated for mental health reasons. If the person may temporarily be a danger to them self or others, the court may require them to be detained until the evaluation is completed and a hearing has been held or they are on the appropriate medication and under control. Of course, there are many other reasons someone may be help temporarily, but this is among the most common.

Of course, the person may also be detained without bail being set during the pendency of their case. The Revised Code of Washington provides that If the judicial officer finds:

“by clear and convincing evidence, that a person shows a propensity for violence that creates a substantial likelihood of danger to the community or any persons, and finds that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of any other person and the community, such judicial officer must order the detention of the person before trial.”

If you have been charged with a crime and need experienced legal representation, contact the Law Office of Erin Bradley McAleer at (360) 334-6277 for a free consultation.

To be continued..

Demystifying Bail and Bail-Related Information – Part III