How Does The Bail Process Work In Utah?
In most cases, once somebody has been arrested, bail will be set. There are some cases involving domestic violence in nature, like domestic violence assaults. Bail is not going to be set until the person comes before the judge. The judge is going to want to ask the prosecution if there is going to be a need for a protective order. In domestic violence charges, if they go in on a Friday night they are not going to see a judge until Monday morning. They cannot post bail because the judge has not set it, and that is because the judge wants to make sure the alleged victim is protected. They do not want the person to get out late on a Friday night, go back home, and hurt the alleged victim again.
On most cases, there is bail, unless it is a very serious case, where there might be a high risk of flight. Once the client is booked into jail, they will know what their bail will be. Many times, we see cases like misdemeanor charges where the bail can reach costs of $3000 to $4000. Some people will use their credit cards or pay cash. That money sits in the court trust fund, or if they do not have their own funds, or cannot access credit at the time they were arrested, then the other option is to contact a bail bondsman. The jail usually has a list of bail bondsmen. They will give you a certain number of phone calls to make, and try to contact someone to help, either a family member or a bail bondsman.
The bail bondsman usually wants a co-signor. The co-signor has to guarantee that if the person skips town, and does not show up to court, the bail bondsman obviously has $5000 or $6000 at risk, so they want that co-signor to guarantee that he can get his money back. Many times, I have seen clients having difficulty with that. Yes, they can get a bondsman, but the bondsman cannot find anyone to co-sign on their behalf. It gets to be a tricky situation sometimes. People do get out of jail even if they do not have their own money, or they do not have anyone to support them.
If someone is from out of town and gets in trouble, then they might have to sit in jail for a few days, if no one is here to bail them out, which is not a good thing, especially if they need medication or medical care. For the most part, most people can get out relatively quick within a few hours of going to jail. If someone pays their bail with cash, at the end of their case, if it was dismissed, their money will be reimbursed. However, if there are fines still due at the end of their case, the court will typically take that money and apply it to the fines.
If there is any leftover they will send that back. When you are in jail, and booked on several charges, each charge has a set fine attached to the charge. For example, $1000 for each charge, $5000 bail. Nevertheless, if you resolve the case with a plea negotiation where your fine is $2000 fine, then you are going to get a $3000 refund.
That is what happened the other day. A young man thought that he was going to go to jail because he had not paid his fines. Probation costs, but after looking at his documents we realized that he had paid a bunch of bail money, and instead of going to jail, his fines were all paid up, so he ended up getting a refund of $755. That is how the bail process works in Utah.
What Is The General Timeline Of A Criminal Case After Someone Is Released On Bail?
Being released on bail depends on the nature of the charges. Once you are arrested, and taken to jail, the process moves quickly. It will take maybe a day or so for the officer to get the paperwork and the investigation to the prosecutor. The prosecutor will file it with the court. Once you get out you should check to see when the first appearance in court would be scheduled. Many citations with smaller cases, they say it takes five to fourteen days. Do not even contact the court until those fourteen days have passed. It takes time to process everything, and set up for your court hearing. For a more serious charge, it can happen quicker. I would imagine they have a hearing date for their initial appearance within a couple of days of being arrested.
How Do You Advise People That Want To Plead Guilty To A Criminal Case?
I do not believe anyone should go into court on his or her first court appearance or his or her arraignment and plead guilty. I advise that no one ever do that, especially with the more serious a case can be. There is always at the very least room to negotiate in most cases, there is always room to negotiate in most cases, whether it be the number of charges or the amount of fines, possible sentencing, and community service versus jail time. Even if they do believe that they are guilty, it might not be what the prosecutor thinks.
At the very least, most criminal defense lawyers such as myself, offer free consultations. Most times, we can look at the court’s computer system, and exactly see what the charges are. We can see which judge they are going to appear in front of, and which court they will appear in. We can even see who the prosecutor will be, and you let them know where the case is headed. Many times in our local jurisdiction, we become familiar with the judges, the prosecutors, and we know where we can push the buttons, and use certain types of elements to get assured outcomes. We may advise the client to get some counseling while the case is being processed.
One more way to settle the case or negotiate the case is show them how treatment and counseling has benefitted our client. It always pays to talk to a professional. So, at the very least, take advantage of our free consultation. Never throw yourself at the mercy of the court that happens to many times, with poor outcomes. The court does not give mercy; therefore, we do not recommend it.
For more information on Bail Process In Utah, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 309-6966 today.