New York Bail Reduction
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In New York, bail is ordered at the arraignment hearing. The reason for bail is to ensure that the defendant will continue to appear in court until the conclusion of their case. Bail is a security that has a monetary value, and can be cash or a bond posted by a bail bond company. When a bond is posted, it is secured by collateral, usually a property or a home. The judge decides the bail amount at the end of the arraignment, and is usually levied pursuant to a serious misdemeanor or felony offense. Crimes where bail would be set could include assault, a DWI, grand larceny, burglary, Drug Possession, or a robbery. If you have been taken into custody, it is important to seek the legal guidance and speak to a New York Bail Reduction Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC to ensure that your rights are protected.
In making his determination, a judge will examine the defendant’s prior record if any and their capacity to commit another crime, and weigh any potential danger to the community. If for instance, the defendant was charged with murder, releasing the defendant from custody could pose a threat to the community. This is far different from a charge of petit larceny for instance, where the crime is not violent in nature. The judge will also be looking at whether the defendant poses a flight risk. He will be looking for family and friends in the area, employment, housing and ties to the community.
Usually at the arraignment, the District Attorney will ask that bail be set. Defense counsel will work to persuade the judge to not order bail (and release the defendant on their own recognizance) or ask for a bail reduction. If bail is set, it will need to be paid by the defendant’s friends or family. A defendant is not allowed to post bail themselves. Bail is set with the bail amount, and the dollar amount that would need to be paid in order for the defendant to be released from custody, such as $5000/$2500. The defendant can be released if they pay $2500.
In most states the defendant will be required to post the full amount of the bail. Because they are often unable to do this on their own, they will use a bail bondsmen. A bondsmen will write a bail bond that guarantees the amount of the bail, so the defendant does not have to pay the full amount. The bondsmen also have powerful incentive to ensure that the bond is paid. In many states the bondsmen has the power to arrest a defendant who fails to appear in court.
If bail is posted and the defendant later does not appear in court, bail money will be forfeited. If the defendant makes all of his court appearances, the money is returned, minus a 3% surcharge. Often the judge will intentionally set the bail high, knowing that the defendant will be unable to pay it. Defense can request a bail reduction hearing to try attempt to lessen the amount.
If the defense moves for a bail reduction hearing, the court will determine if there has been a change in the defendant’s circumstances. If there has been any changes since the arraignment, a bail reduction may be warranted. At this hearing, your defense lawyer would present any new information. If the judge agrees that there has been a significant change in circumstances, they may lower or eliminate bail completely.
Speak with our legal team for advice. If you have been charged with a criminal offense contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW. We will provide you a free consultation with your first visit. We have offices conveniently located throughout New York City, including offices in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. We also have locations in Westchester County, and Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island.