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New York Bail Reduction Frequently Asked Questions

What is bail?

After someone is arrested and arraigned, there are typically a number of hearings and other court proceedings before his (or her) criminal, case is resolved. The defendant is required to attend each of those hearings as well as the trial. It is not enough that the defendant’s New York bail reduction lawyer appears in court. Bail is money or some form of property that is used as collateral to ensure that the defendant returns to court when required.

Why did the judge require bail in my case?

At your arraignment the judge has the option of releasing you without requiring bail. This is referred to as release on own recognizance or ROR. The judge can also set a bail amount or require that you be held without bail. The judge’s decision on bail will be based on a number of factors including the severity of the charge. For example, if you are charged with a class B felony, you are more likely to receive bail than if you face a class E felony. Other factors include your criminal record, your history of showing up to court appearances, your ties to the community, the risk to public safety, and the potential risk of flight. Both the prosecutor and your New York bail reduction lawyer will have an opportunity to make arguments related to bail. Ultimately, the judge will decide whether or not bail is required and how much. While there are guidelines that judges follow, the judge has discretion in determining bail.

Why is my bail so high?

The amount of your bail is directly related to the severity of your crime, your criminal record, and your potential for flight. If your bail is high, then the court believes that you may not return to court for your trial and other appearances, or that you present a danger to the community. If you cannot afford to pay your bail, your bail reduction attorney in New York can file a motion with the court requesting lower bail.

What can I do if I cannot afford my bail?

Keep in mind that you will not necessarily be required to pay the full amount of your bail in cash in order to be released from jail. You may only have to pay a percentage in cash. Or, you can work with a bail bond company which will require only a small percentage of the bail money and a fee. In return the bail bondsmen will pay your bail.

If you do not have the resources to pay your bail you will have to remain in jail until your trial. You will be released only if you are not convicted. However, you can also request that the judge lower your bail. The request is made by filing a motion for bail reduction. You can then make arguments during your bail reduction hearing.

Will the judge approve my request for bail reduction?

Whether the judge will approve your request for bail reduction depends on a variety of factors. Typically you must show that you are not a flight risk or that circumstances have changed since arraignment when bail was set. For example, if you show evidence that you are not a flight risk because you do indeed have strong ties to the community based on your job, your relationship with your children, or that you live with a close-knit family, then the judge may be inclined to reduce our bail. Or you can make concessions to the court that show that you have no intention of fleeing, such as offering to give your passport to the court.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are concerned about bail because you or a family member has been arrested in New York, contact an experienced bail reduction attorney. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts and understand the rules related to bail and what is required to get it reduced. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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