Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Minnesota Criminal Law (Bail) Questions (Answered)

If there's anything I know about the Minnesota Criminal Justice System it is that people (even experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorneys) have questions lots and lots of questions.  Here are some of the most common about BAIL - along with some answers.  If you or someone you love is caught up in a legal dilemma --- feel free to get more information by calling in the Rolloff Law Office - today: (612) 234-1165.

What is bail?

Bail is money or other property deposited with the court in order to ensure that the person accused returns to court when he or she is required to do so. If the defendant does not come to court when required or violates his or her bail conditions, the bail will be forfeited to the court and will not be returned. If the defendant makes all of his appearances, the bail is returned when the case is over.  In addition to getting someone to come back to court, bail also serves to protect public saftey - so says the government.  

What happens during a bail hearing?

Upon arrest, the accused appears before a magistrate or judge for a violation of a criminal law. The magistrate or judge will conduct a pre-trial bail hearing resulting in four possible results:

  • Your Own Recognizance - This is the defendant's verbal promise to appear in court on the date set and abide by the terms set by the magistrate or judge. No monetary pledge, cash deposit, or security by property or professional bondsman is required.
  • Conditional Release - This release, pending court appearance, is based on the defendant's written agreement to appear in court on the date set and abide by the conditions set by the magistrate or judge. It is backed by an agreement by the defendant to contact the probation department periodically, in addition to other conditions which might be set by the judge.
  • Bail Bond - This is secured by either a cash deposit or a pledge by a third party, who provides the cash to guarantee that the defendant will appear in court on the date set and abide by the conditions of the release. The judge may forfeit the cash in the event the defendant does not appear in court on the date set.
  • Ineligible for Bail -The bail decision may be appealed to a judge who re-examines the evidence. A violation of any agreement of release pending court appearance can result in the issuance of a bench warrant to arrest the person.

All too often defendant's get one chance to persuade the court as to bail/conditions of release.  Therefore, it can't hurt to have an attorney assist you or someone you love with the process.  Call the Rolloff Law Office, today, at (612) 234-1165 and get help.  This is not a "do-it-yourself" game --- trust me.  


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