Philadelphia Bail Hearing Attorney
After being arrested for a crime, it is likely that your mind is racing a mile a minute. In addition to being scared and panicked, you may have no idea what is coming next or what steps you need to take to protect yourself and your freedom. While getting your charges downgraded or dismissed will be the ultimate goal, the first thing you are going to need to focus on is your bail hearing, where a judge will decide whether to set bail or to require you to be held in jail until your case is resolved.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself from spending any more time behind bars than necessary is to retain an experienced Philadelphia bail hearing attorney like those at the Law Offices of Lloyd Long as soon after your arrest as possible. The quicker you get us working on your case, the more time we will have to prepare the best possible argument to get you released. Then, we can focus on getting your charges downgraded or dismissed and bringing the case to the most positive possible resolution. For a free consultation, call our office today at (215) 302-0171.
Philadelphia Bail Hearings
The police can arrest you on the spot if they have probable cause to believe you have committed a crime, such as by having witnessed you commit the crime themselves. In most cases, there will be some sort of investigation into the alleged crime, and, when the police believe that they have enough evidence that you committed it, they will apply for a warrant for you arrest. If it is granted by the judge, hey will then come to your home or place or work to execute it.
After you are arrested, you will be transported to the local police station for the booking process. This process involves you being photographed and fingerprinted and your biographical information being collected. Then, you will be kept in the holding cell or transported to the local jail until your preliminary arraignment and bail hearing can occur, usually within 48 hours.
For this hearing, you will be video conferenced into the courtroom of a magistrate, a political appointee who does not have to be a judge or even a lawyer. The magistrate will speak to you over the video and make a decision regarding bail. There is no guarantee to an attorney at this hearing, but it can make a huge difference having an attorney arguing on your behalf. Typically, the magistrate will just follow the state’s bail guidelines, but an experienced bail hearing attorney like those at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long can work to convince the magistrate that you should be released on little to no bail. We understand the factors the magistrate considers, including your prior criminal history, ties to the community, and the nature and severity of the alleged defense.
Types of Bail in Philadelphia
Generally speaking, there are five different options that the magistrate will have at the bail hearing. First, the magistrate can choose to release you on your own recognizance, meaning without bail. Typically, this will only be granted for minor offenses and to those without an extensive criminal record. A second option is granting bail with non-monetary conditions, such as you being required to attend counseling or stay out of further trouble. If you fail to comply with these conditions, you could be remanded and bail could be set or the judge could hold you for the duration of the case. Our skilled bail hearing attorneys at the Law Offices of Lloyd Long will work to craft the best arguments that you should be released with no or minimal conditions.
The other three options the judge has at the bail hearing are three different types of bail that can be set. The first is release on unsecured bail, which means that bail will be set but you do not have to put any money down up front to get bailed out. Instead, you must simply sign something saying that you will owe the set amount of bail if you fail to appear as required.
There is also release on nominal bail. In this case, the judge will set the amount of bail, but instead of you paying the full amount, you will pay only a nominal amount. The catch is that the rest of the amount must be secured by a bail bondsman. In order to issue the bond, the bondsman will likely require 10% of the bail amount up front from you or whoever is paying on your behalf. The final option is release on a monetary condition, which is when you put down the full amount of bail set by the judge, either in cash or through a lien on your property or possessions. If you can’t pay bail or come to an agreement with a bondsman, you may have to stay in jail.
Post-Bail Hearing Proceedings in Philadelphia
After the bail hearing, there will be a formal arraignment, where your lawyer is likely to advise you to enter an initial plea of not guilty while we gather evidence and assess the strength of the state’s case. Your lawyer will then begin to negotiate a potential deal with the prosecutor to get your charges downgraded or dismissed. Sometimes, if the charge is minor and you have a clean criminal record, we may be able to convince the prosecutor to allow you into a pre-trial diversion program, where your charges will be dropped if you complete it successfully. If you do not wish to take a deal, our skilled trial attorneys at the Law Offices of Lloyd Long are always ready and able to defend your innocence at trial.
Call Our Seasoned Philadelphia Bail Hearing Attorneys Today
The first thing you need to focus on after an arrest is getting yourself out of police custody as quickly as possible. At the Law Offices of Lloyd Long, our Philadelphia bail hearing attorneys have years of experience successfully working to get our clients released on little to no bail. From your bail hearing until the end of the case, we will be with you every step of the way working to bring the matter to a positive resolution. Call us today at (215) 302-0171 for a free consultation.