Felonies are the most serious types of crimes charged under the Pennsylvania criminal code, including such crimes as rape, aggravated assault, and arson. If you are charged with a felony, you will certainly be arrested and taken to the local police station for booking, rather than released with a citation like in the case of some misdemeanors or infractions. You will then spend up to 48 hours in the station’s holding cell or at the local holding facility until your bail hearing can occur. Below, our experienced Philadelphia bail hearing attorneys at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long explain how bail for felony is set, how much it could cost, and how we can held you get released from jail quickly with as low of an amount of bail as possible imposed.
How Does a Philadelphia Bail Hearing Work?
After you have been arrested and booked on a felony, your bail hearing will typically occur with 48 hours. In Philadelphia, these hearings are usually conducted over a videoconferencing system, where you will speak to the magistrate who decides bail over a monitor brought into your holding cell or in another part of the station. However, for some serious felonies, the bail hearing may occur in person. In either case, you should make sure you have an experienced Philadelphia bail hearing attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long arguing on your behalf at this hearing, where the judge will decide if you can be released or must remain in jail until your underlying charges are resolved.
The judge has the option to release you on your own recognizance, meaning without bail, but this is rarely done in felony cases. Sometimes, if your lawyer can make a good argument and you have no priors, you may be able to get release on a non-monetary condition such as attending drug rehab or anger management classes. For the most serious felonies like rape and homicide, the judge may choose to hold you in jail without bail until your case is over. We can appeal this decision by filing a motion to reconsider and asking the judge to at least set bail at some amount.
How is the Bail Amount for a Felony in Philadelphia Decided?
If the judge chooses to set monetary bail, the amount of money required to post bail for a felony can vary greatly depending on the specifics on the crime as well as your own criminal history. Felony bail could be set anywhere from the hundreds to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. For high-flight risk individuals charged with the most serious offenses, bail can even be set in the millions.
An experienced Philadelphia bail hearing attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long will understand the factors that the judge will take into account when setting bail and know how to make the most persuasive arguments to get you released on the most minimal amount of bail possible. One of the main factors will be how able we are to present you as an upstanding member of the community who does not endanger the general public and is not likely to try to flee the court’s jurisdiction. Other factors include your criminal record, ties to the community through family and employment, and the nature and severity of the crime alleged.
If bail is imposed, there are three different ways you can get released. In some cases, the court will allow you to be released on unsecured bail. This means that, while the judge will set an amount, you do not actually have to put any money down, but rather simply must sign a paper agreeing to pay the full bail amount if you fail to appear in court as required. In some cases, you may be able to post the full bail amount through cash or other assets like real estate that can be used as collateral.
Your other option if the bail is set at an amount too high for you to pay is to retain a bail bondsman who will put up a secured bond with the court to get you released. In order to get the bondman to put up a bond, you will have to pay a fee, usually 10% of the bail amount, and you or a loved one must sign paperwork agreeing to pay the full amount if you fail to appear in court. If you do fail to appear in court, the bondsman will be responsible for the full bail amount and will come after you or any co-signers for repayment.
How Can A Lawyer Help Resolve My Case After a Philadelphia Bail Hearing?
After the bail hearing, our skilled Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long can try to work out a deal with the prosecutor. Possibilities include pleading guilty to a lesser charge or the prosecutor agreeing to recommend a more lenient sentence in exchange for you entering a guilty plea and saving the state the time and cost of trial. Of course, if you do not wish to take a deal, our battle-tested trial attorneys are always ready to fight for a not guilty verdict in the courtroom.
If You Are Concerned About Felony Bail, Call Our Experienced Philadelphia Bail Hearing Lawyers Today
Bail in felony cases can be set extremely high, and sometimes judges in these cases will choose not to grant bail at all. However, having a skilled Philadelphia bail hearing attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long fighting for you will give you a much greater chance at the judge setting bail at a reasonable amount that you can afford. If the amount set is too high, we can also refer you to a reputable bail bondsman. Then we can focus on working to get your charges downgraded or dismissed. For a free consultation, call us today at (215) 302-0171.