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Bail: The Basics

November 20, 2014 New York Lawyers

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Put simply, bail is a defendant’s release on conditions. Those conditions vary and may include the posting of some form of collateral along with a promise to obey restrictions set by the court. Your New York criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate this process.

The court must set bail during or right after your initial appearance following your arrest. Additional information about what to expect concerning bail is highlighted below for your convenience.

Station House Bail

Depending on where you live, your arresting officer may be able to set minimal bail at his discretion, which will allow you to be released from the police station almost immediately. Keep in mind, though, that such “station house bail” is in no way guaranteed. It’s far more common for bail to be decided at the courthouse.

Bail Bond Agencies

You’ve probably heard about bail bond agencies. Should you use them? Your New York criminal defense lawyer may recommend it as a way for you to post bail quickly for the payment of a fee. In return, the bail bond agency becomes the suretor on your bail bond. Because most agencies work with local courts all the time, they can usually secure defendants’ releases quickly.

There are drawbacks to using a bail bond agency, and it pays to be aware of them. For instance, if you use your own money directly with the court to satisfy a straight cash or 10 percent bail, your money will be refunded once the case is complete. When you use a bail bond agency, though, the money is posted on your behalf using the company’s funds. The fee you pay to the agency is not refunded.

As you may also know, using a bail bond agency opens up the possibility of having a bounty hunter track you down to arrest you for failure to appear at some point in the future. Due to the way the law works, a suretor is within his rights to arrest absconding defendants without due process. They can then deliver the defendant to the jurisdiction without a court hearing or protection. This involves substantial risk because bounty hunters aren’t law enforcement agents. As such, they have no formal training. Some have harmed and even killed the defendants they have pursued.

Hire a Skilled New York Criminal Defense Attorney

Prior to dealing with bond, you’ll need to retain an experienced New York criminal defense lawyer. Call Frederick L. Sosinsky at (212) 285-2270 now.

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