Bond and Jail Issues in Oakland County
Prompt pretrial release is a very important component of an effective criminal defense. If the defendant remains incarcerated, the presumption of innocence essentially becomes a presumption of guilt.
People who are in jail cannot participate effectively in their own defense. An attorney-client partnership is more difficult if the accused sits in jail pending resolution of the case. Additionally, incarcerated defendants feel pressure to accept unfavorable plea agreements just to “get it over with.”
Therefore, a good Oakland County criminal defense attorney will do more than get you out of jail before trial. Your attorney should help you keep that degree of freedom.
Bond is required to be addressed swiftly after a person has been charged with a crime; either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Initial Jail Release
Since the cash bail bond system has come under such criticism lately, many Oakland County offenders are eligible for release on their own recognizance.
Procedurally, a magistrate examines the case to set a bond. Typically, if the defendant is charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor and had no criminal record, the magistrate recommends a personal recognizance release. The sheriff releases the defendant, who promises to appear at trial or pay a significant financial penalty.
Although this process usually does not involve an adversarial hearing, an Oakland County criminal defense attorney can still advocate for the inmate and, hopefully, convince the magistrate that release on the recognizance of the accused is appropriate.
In other situations, the defendant can pay a cash bail or post a bail bond. The cash bail functions like a rental property security deposit. If the defendant satisfies all conditions, the county refunds most of the bail money to the individual that posted the bail. A surety bond is like an insurance policy. The defendant pays a premium, which is usually 10 or 15 percent of the cash bail amount, to put this bond into effect.
In setting the initial bond, the judge or magistrate will take many factors into account. If the charged offense is minor, a personal recognizance bond is likely because the county sheriff cannot effectively maintain an overcrowded jail. If the charge is serious, the bond will be a much higher amount, usually laden with conditions.
Oakland County Bond Violations
In addition to appearing at trial, most of these pretrial release platforms include other conditions, such as:
- Reporting in person to a bail bond or other agent;
- Remaining within the county or the State of Michigan at all times;
- Keeping the sheriff or bonding company informed about address changes;
- Avoiding further run-ins with the law; and
- Abstaining from alcohol or illegal drugs.
Generally, the conditions in misdemeanors are less burdensome than the conditions for felony bonds. Felony bonds often require fingerprinting
If the defendant violates a bond condition, the judge may revoke the bond, which subjects the defendant to immediate arrest and incarceration. There are remedies available, largely depending on the extent of the violation.
For technical violations, such as failure to report or a missed drug or alcohol test, an attorney can often give the defendant’s side of the story to the judge. Alternatively, an attorney can arrange an out-of-court settlement. For example, the judge may agree to continue the defendant on bond if the defendant has already cured the problem or if the defendant agrees to additional conditions, such as GPS monitoring.
For substantive violations, it may be better to voluntarily surrender and start the process over. An attorney will be by your side, to expedite the proceeding.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
Pretrial release jumpstarts a successful criminal defense. For a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Waterford Township, contact Clarkston Legal. Convenient payment plans are available.