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By: Law Offices of Mace J. Yampolsky

What Issues May Come Up When Defending A Criminal Case?

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What Effect Do Prior Arrests Or Prior Convictions Have In A Criminal Case?

When someone is arrested, their obvious first reaction is that they want to get out of jail as soon as possible. The best case scenario is that you will be released on your own recognizance, meaning you do not have to post bail. However, if you have a previous conviction, you most likely will have a bail set. Depending on what the offense is, there is usually a standard bail, as set by law.

If you have a prior arrest or conviction, it’s more likely that you’re going to have a higher bail. In some cases, you may not get bail at all. This may be the case for charges of some sex crimes or in murder cases as well. Under the U.S. Constitution, you are entitled to a reasonable bail except in a capital case. In the capital case, they can deny bail altogether.

Bail can be paid in several ways. For example, if the bail is set at $5,000, you can post cash bail, which means you post the entire amount with the court. At the end of the case, assuming you showed up and did everything you were supposed to do, you will get the $5,000 back. In the event you don’t have the $5,000 and want to be released, you might hire a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman will post the $5,000 and you will pay the bail bondsman 15% of the actual bail amount. This 15% is mandated by Nevada law.

If you don’t show up for court, the bail bondsman is then on the hook for the full amount of the bail, which would be forfeited by the court. This is the reason why bail bondsmen have the authority to find and arrest people. They can hire bounty hunters. It’s in the bail bonds company to apprehend the clients that have absconded. Should this occur, the person would not get out of jail until the case is resolved, if at all. The bail bondsman would have the bail he posted returned.

Keeping The Person Out Of Jail

Oftentimes, the attorney can make a motion for bail reduction or release on your own recognizance. Sometimes, bail conditions might even be suggested by the attorney, such as proposing, if the client is released, he should be required to of wear a GPS monitor. The authorities will know where he is at all times. They can subject him to house arrest which means he would have to remain in his home unless he has permission to go to work, see his attorney, doctor, etc.

They can subject a person to what’s called “Intensive Supervision” so even though he’s out on bail, he has to check-in person at the Probation Department or Pre-trial Services Department every week just to make sure he is not absconding.

Costs of Being Charged With A Crime

First, the client has the cost of hiring an experienced attorney. They also have to pay bail, and in order to properly defend the case, sometimes an investigator or an expert may be needed, which is the client’s responsibility, and that also costs money. In some cases, the attorney may be able to get the court to pay for an investigator or an expert.

Cases which involve a lot of costs which the client cannot pay, an attorney will file a motion with the court saying, “Your Honor, my client is in custody. He can’t help me investigate this case. Based on that fact and the fact that he’s indigent, I would like the court to appoint an investigator to assist me,” and generally they will do it.

This happens especially where the client is in custody. The court will generally appoint an investigator, a ballistics expert, an accident Reconstructionist, or a DNA expert if it’s appropriate in that particular case.