New York Bail Reduction Frequently Asked Questions
In the state of New York, a judge sets the bail amount at an arraignment hearing. The purpose of bail is to ensure that a defendant appears in court until their case is finished. Bail is a security measure with a monetary value which can be either bond or cash and can pay by a bail bond company. A bond is secured by a type of collateral such as a home or piece of property. The judge issues a ruling on a bail amount at the end of the arraignment hearing and is issued with both felony and misdemeanor offenses. Crimes, where a judge may decide to set bail, include DWI, drug possession, robbery, burglary, assault, or grand larceny. It’s worth getting legal advice from an experienced attorney at Spodek Law Group to ensure that all proper legal procedures are done and your rights are protected.
A judge looks at a defendant’s criminal history and whether the individual is at risk of committing another crime, not going to court, or presents a danger to the community. A violent crime, such as murder, poses a higher risk to the community than someone who is charged with a non-violent offense such as petty larceny. The judge also examines the likelihood of the defendant fleeing. Factors that can work in the defendant’s favor include steady employment, friends and family in the area, and ties to the local community.
The District Attorney is the one who requests bail at the arraignment hearing. Defense counsel works to convince the judge that the defendant should be released until court, or ask for a reduction of the bail amount to something more feasible. A defendant cannot pay their own bail to get released from custody. An example of a bail amount could be $10,000/$5,000. The defendant will be released if they can pay the $5,000.
The majority of states require the defendant to pay the full bail amount to get released. Many defendants can’t afford to pay the full amount and need to use the services of a bail bondsman, who guarantees the bail amount. The bondsman has the power to arrest the defendant if they fail to appear in court.
Bail money is forfeited if the defendant fails to show up to court. The money can be returned, with a 3 percent reduction as a surcharge. A judge will set a high bail amount if the crime is serious and they think the defendant won’t be able to post the amount.
The defense can request a separate hearing specifically for a reduction in bail. The judge can re-consider the bail amount if there have been changes in the defendant’s circumstances. It might be possible to get a reduction or bail eliminated completely.
Contact our legal team if you need advice because you’ve been charged with a criminal offense. Give us a call at 1-888-742-6939 to speak with our experienced criminal attorneys at Spodek Law Group if you’re facing criminal charges for legal advice. We have multiple offices in New York City to accommodate you.
May 17, 2018
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