The bail hearing is when the judge will set the bail amount or even determine whether or not bail is appropriate in your case. Since this is your first appearance in court that will also determine whether you spend your time in jail before your trial or at home with your family, it's important to be prepared for this hearing fully. The best way to do this is by hiring an attorney who can argue your case and why bail should be set and why it should be a lower amount. It's also best to consider these five ways to prepare:
- Talk To Your Attorney About Family Ties: Make sure your attorney is well aware of any family ties you have in the community. Having family ties to the community looks better in the judge's eyes because it shows that you don't have a high probability of leaving the area only to not appear at your next court date.
- Emphasize Steady Employment: If you currently have a job or have had a steady job in the recent past, this needs to be brought up as well because it shows commitment, which also shows responsibility to show up where you are needed.
- Talk About Owned Property: Bail likely won't be set if the judge believes it cannot be paid. For this reason, you should not hide what you own as far as real estate or any other large asset such as a car. This can be used as part of your bail agreement, as well, which is probably necessary in a more serious case.
- Don't Lie About Criminal Past: The judge is going to know about your criminal past regardless because they will have your record on them. However, they will probably still ask about it. Be completely open about it, otherwise if you are caught in a lie, it's a bad reflection on character. Just be sure that you talk with your attorney to ensure that you are speaking about your criminal past in the best way and not bringing up anything that doesn't need to be mentioned.
- Prepare for Consequences: Depending on your criminal history or current charge, there may be certain consequences that are set with your bail you should be prepared to accept. Your attorney will likely know what these might be in your case so they can help you understand what should be accepted and what shouldn't. For example, if you are on a drug charge, you might be subject to testing every month to ensure you are staying clean.
If you did have a bail set by the judge, you will want to talk to your attorney about helping your family work out the payment possibly with a bail bondsman, such as from All Star Bail Bonds, to help make the financial aspect a bit easier on everyone.