It is a parent’s worst nightmare to get a call in the middle of the night letting them know that their college-aged child is being held in jail on criminal charges. Whether the matter is something relatively minor like disorderly conduct, or something very serious like sexual assault, the first thing you will need to deal with if your college student had been arrested is getting them out of jail. A decision on when and how this can happen will be made at their bail hearing, which can occur quickly after their arrest. As such, whether you are a parent or loved one of an arrested college student or the student themselves, you need to reach out quickly to an experienced Philadelphia bail hearing attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long. Below, our lawyers explain how the bail process works and how we can help you get yourself or your loved one out of jail as quickly and painlessly as possible.
How to Get a College Student Out on Bail in Philadelphia
For some minor crimes such as underage drinking in Philadelphia, the officer may simply write the college student a citation with a date on it for them to appear in court for an arraignment. If this is the case, you should reach out to a skilled Philadelphia criminal defense attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long right away so we can try to work out a deal with the prosecutor for the matter to be resolved on the date of your arraignment. In other cases, also for more minor crimes, you might be arrested and booked and then released with a similar citation.
In most cases, especially those involving more serious charges like assault or DUI, the student will be arrested and booked and a bail hearing will be held usually within 48 hours at most. At this hearing, the judge will decide whether the student will be held in jail until the underlying criminal matter is resolved or if they can be released on bail or on their own recognizance. Typically, the judge will only hold those without bail who have committed a very serious crime like homicide or who have an extensive criminal record. Factors the judge will consider in making a bail decision include the nature and severity of the alleged offense, your ties and service to the local community, and your criminal history.
Bail hearings in Philadelphia are typically held over videoconference, meaning the college student will be in the station’s holding cell or at the local holding center for the hearing and will speak to the magistrate through a monitor. The state is not required to provide defendants with an attorney for this proceeding, making it even more imperative that you or a loved one contact a skilled criminal defense attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long as soon after your arrest as possible. We can make the most persuasive arguments to get the student released on minimal to no bail.
Types of Bail in Philadelphia
Generally speaking, if the judge chooses not to hold the student in jail for the duration of the case, they have five options in terms of their release. First, they could release the student on their own recognizance, meaning without bail or any conditions aside from showing up for their scheduled court appearances. This is usually reserved for low-level offenses such as public intoxication. Second, they could release the student with non-monetary conditions, such as attending counseling or a drug rehab program.
The other three options all involve some form of monetary bail. The first is release on unsecured bail, meaning the judge will set the bail at a certain amount, but you will not have to actually put up any money to get the student out of jail. Rather, the student must simply sign a form stating that, if they fail to appear for the scheduled court dates, they will immediately owe the court the full bail amount. The second is release on a monetary condition, where the judge sets the bail and you or a loved one puts up the full amount of bail through cash or assets used as collateral.
The final possibility is released on a secured bond. This involves someone, usually the parent or another loved one of the college student, procuring the services of a bail bondsman who will issue a bond to the court secured by your collateral. You will typically have to pay the bondsman a fee of about 10% of the amount of bail set in order for them to issue the bond. If the college student fails to appear in court as scheduled or flees the court’s jurisdiction, the bondsman will be liable to pay the full amount to the court. In turn, the bondsman will come after whoever put up collateral for the bond for repayment. If you try to evade repayment, many bail bond companies are know to employ bounty hunters to collect their debts.
If You Are Looking to Get a College Student Released from a Holding Center, Contact Our Seasoned Philadelphia Bail Hearing Lawyers Today
Being arrested can cause huge headaches down the line for college students, but before we can work to get their charges downgraded or dismissed, our skilled Philadelphia bail hearing lawyers at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long need to get the student out of jail on bail so that they can proceed with their life while the case is resolved. If there is a parallel college disciplinary process, we can also represent you or your child at this hearing and fight for the college, as well as the criminal justice system, to understand the full picture of the student as a person and to bring the cases to the most positive possible resolutions. Call our office today at (215) 302-0171 to set up a free consultation.