You Have a Right to Bail in Virginia
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime in Virginia, you have a right to be bailed out of jail. Every defendant is innocent until proven guilty, and therefore deserves the opportunity to be released from jail in order to prepare his or her criminal defense. In Virginia, there is a statutory presumption under §19.2-120 that every defendant be admitted bail (with several exceptions).
However, no matter what, every defendant deserves the opportunity for a bail hearing. Talk to an experienced Virginia Bail Attorney at BC LAW today to get your Free Consultation.
Presumptions Against Bail
There are several exceptions listed in the bail statute which may prevent the defendant from getting bail. However, even if you fit into one of the presumptions against bail, that presumption can be overcome. To rebut the presumption, the defendant needs to demonstrate that there is a condition of release that will reasonably assure the appearance of the person as required and the safety of the public, giving due consideration to the following factors:
- The nature and circumstances of the offense charged.
- The history and characteristics of the person, including his character, physical and mental condition, family ties, employment, financial resources, length of residence in the community, community ties, past conduct, history relating to drug or alcohol abuse, criminal history, membership in a criminal street gang as defined in § 18.2-46.1, and record concerning appearance at court proceedings; and
- The nature and seriousness of the danger to any person or the community that would be posed by the person’s release.
What are the types of Bail in Virginia?
If a judge admits the defendant to bail, there are a couple ways the judge could do it. In some cases, if the defendant does not have a criminal background and does not fall into any of the exceptions discussed above, the judge may allow the defendant to get out of jail on his or her “Personal Recognizance” All this means is that the defendant agrees to show up on the day of his or her trial. The defendant is not required to pay any money. This is the simplest way to get bail in Virginia, but is pretty rare.
The rest of the time, the judge will allow the defendant bail, but only based on an “Unsecured Bond” or a “Secured Bond”.
An “Unsecured Bond” means that the judge will allow the defendant to get out of jail, but only on the condition that he or she either returns to court the day of the trial or else pay a certain amount of money. If the defendant comes to court at the right time and place, the defendant does not have to pay any money.
A “Secured Bond” means that the judge will allow the defendant to get out of jail, but only if the defendant puts a certain amount of money into the court to guarantee his or her return on the date of trial. Usually the judge sets a fairly high amount of money for this, and the numbers can range anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000 or even higher depending on the severity of the charges. The defendant gets this money back if he or she returns to court for the trial date. Most people, after their Attorney gets them a secured bond, then must then use a Virginia Bail Bondsman to actually post the bond and have them released.
What do I do if I get a Secured Bond?
Usually, if the judge orders your release based on a Secured Bond, you will probably not be able to afford the amount the judge sets. This is where a Bail Bondsman comes in. A Bail Bondsman will pay the amount into court determined by the judge, but at a 10% fee to you. For instance, if your judge has set a $10,000 secured bond, you will pay your bondsman $1,000, the bondsman will pay $10,000 to the court, and you will be released. If you don’t show up for court though, your bondsman will be on the hook for the full $10,000 and will likely send a Bounty Hunter to come looking for you. You don’t want that to happen.
How do I get a Bail Hearing?
If you or your loved one is in jail right now and has not had a Bail Hearing set, call BC LAW right now to get it set up today. Under Virginia Code 19.2-158, you have the right for a judge to consider your bail at your arraignment, which must occur within three calendar days of your arrest. So call an experienced Virginia Bond Hearing Attorney today for a Free Consultation so we can get started as soon as possible.
Call BC LAW now for your Free Consultation