One of the scariest phone calls a parent can get is a call from their beloved child telling them that they have been arrested and need their help getting them out of jail. No parent wants to deal with a situation like this, but acting quickly and decisively can be the difference between your child spending time in a secure detention facility and their being released home to your care while the case is pending. Retaining an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long can go a long way to making sure your child’s rights are protected. Below, our attorneys guide you through the different bail processes for juvenile and adult children in Philadelphia.
Juvenile Bail in Philadelphia
Juvenile courts are an entirely different entity than adult courts in Philadelphia. They are supposed to work toward the rehabilitation of the juvenile rather than work to punish them. As such, there is no bail in juvenile courts. For most crimes, your child will be released back to your care while the juvenile court proceeding is playing out. Only in rare circumstances will it be determined that your child needs to be detained during this process. This may occur for particularly serious crimes where the judge determines your child may be a danger to themselves or to the public if released, or in situations where your child has a history of not showing up for court appearances. An experienced Philadelphia juvenile criminal defense attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long can work to convince the judge that your child should be released.
Adult Bail in Philadelphia
If your child is 18 or older, they will go through the adult criminal justice process. After someone has been arrested and booked, the first step in the adult criminal justice system is for them to appear before a magistrate for a preliminary arraignment. A magistrate is not a judge, but a local citizen. They do not necessarily even have to be a lawyer. A preliminary arraignment in Philadelphia is the hearing where the magistrate sets bail, or decides that your child must remain detained in prison until the underlying criminal matter is resolved.
At Philadelphia preliminary arraignments, the defendant does not usually appear in the courtroom with the magistrate. Instead, the defendant is “videoconferenced” in from his holding cell. This is why it is crucial to have an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long fighting for your child at their preliminary arraignment, especially for more serious crimes such as.
While the judge typically just sets bail based on the state bail guidelines, our lawyers can work to convince the judge to set bail lower than the amount listed. Factors that the judge may consider in deciding to impose lower bail or no bail include the defendant’s financial and personal ties to the community, their history of criminal convictions, whether they have previously failed to show up for court appearances, and whether they might be a danger to the public based on the crime they are accused of committing.
Types of Bail in Philadelphia
There are five different types of bail that might be granted by a judge in Philadelphia, from release without any conditions, to several types of monetary conditions, to non-monetary conditions. The first, and most commonly understood type of bail that can be set is release on monetary conditions. To be released on monetary conditions, you must pay to the court the entirety of the bail amount posed by the judge. When the money is posted, your child will be released. However, if your child fails to appear for their scheduled court dates, the court will be able to keep all of the money you put down.
The second type of bail is called nominal bail. This involves you securing the services of a bail bondsman. The bail bondsman will issue a bond for the full bail amount. You will typically be required to pay 10% of the amount to the bail bondman to secure the bond. If your child does not show up for court, the court will go after the bail bondsman for the full amount. In turn, the bail bondman will seek to be reimbursed by you as the co-signor, and will often send bounty hunters to find those who try to avoid their reach.
Bail can also be issued in the form of an unsecured bond, where your child and potentially you as a co-signor will have to sign documents indicating that if your child does not show up to court, you will owe the full amount of bail. However, these documents won’t be secured by any bail bonds or payments from you up front.
Finally, there are the two most positive bail conditions that a skilled bail hearing defense attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long can fight to get for our clients. These are bail with non-monetary conditions and released on your own recognizance. For bail with non-monetary conditions, your child will be released without you having to put any money down and can remain at-large so long as they comply with conditions such as counseling or drug treatment. Even better is release on your own recognizance, where your child will be released without any bail or conditions. This is usually reserved for lower level crimes like vandalism or simple assault. However, if they fail to show up for court, a bench warrant could be issued and bail will likely be imposed.
If You are Concerned About Bailing Your Child Out of Jail, Call Our Knowledgeable Attorneys Today
When you learn your child has been arrested, you may feel helpless and paralyzed by fear. However, you need to be strong and take decisive action to protect your child’s rights and get them out of jail as quickly and painlessly as possible. At The Law Offices of Lloyd Long, our skilled Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys have years of experience successfully getting our clients released at bail hearings. For a free, confidential consultation, call us today at (215) 302-0171.