Should you have legal representation at your bail hearing?
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a criminal act in Nevada, one of your first objectives is to get out of jail in order to be with loved ones, to go about normal life, such as your job, and to assist your attorney with your defense. Bail may be required in order for the court to release you pending trial. Bail is a monetary deposit given to the court to ensure your participation in the trial. Bail hearings are the venue to establish the conditions of your release from custody and may take place in conjunction with the arraignment, or it may be a stand alone hearing. You should have an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer to represent you at the hearing.
What is the difference between an arraignment and a bail hearing?
In the arraignment, which takes place within days of an arrest, the formal charges against you are read and given to you in written form, and you are asked to make a plea. Pleading not guilty will result in the court scheduling a Preliminary Hearing or a trial date. The next question is whether you will be released from custody in the interim. One of the major concerns of the court at this point is whether you will remain in their jurisdiction to appear in court at the required times, and especially whether you will appear for sentencing.
In a bail hearing, whether associated with the arraignment or not, both the prosecutor and your defense attorney will appear, and the prosecutor will recommend a bail amount. Typically, the amount of bail required will increase based on the severity of the crime being charged. Your guilt or innocence are not the concern in the bail hearing, and you are not required to speak, however, the court will attempt to conclude whether you are either a danger to the community, and whether you present a risk of flight.
As the court considers whether you are a danger to the community they will consider:
- Whether you have a criminal record
- Whether you are on probation or parole
- Whether the charge is for a non-violent offense
- Whether your reputation in the community shows responsible citizenship
To help determine whether you are a flight risk the court considers:
- Whether you have strong ties to the community, how long you have lived there, do you have family there, whether you have a job and for how long
- Whether you have missed past court appearances
- Whether you have immigration issues
Bail Hearing Outcomes
The outcome of the hearing will determine whether bail will be offered at all based on the charges, or whether bail should be increased over the recommended amount, whether bail should be decreased over the recommendations, or whether you should be released on your “own recognizance” otherwise known as an OR release. An OR release is only made with the defendants promise to appear at all future required appearances in the case, and bail will not be required.
The Defenders represents defendants at bail hearings
Bail is a long-standing practice of the courts going back to the founding of the United States. By offering bail, the court is attempting strike a balance between your liberty and the justice system’s requirement for you to participate in your trial. In order to have your rights protected and to guard against unreasonable bail requirements, you should have an aggressive, knowledgeable and experienced attorney represent you. The Defenders, under lead attorney K. Ryan Helmick provide that kind of representation. Call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333.