A defendant is the term refers to the person accused in a criminal case. In every legal case, either civil or criminal, there are always two sides: the plaintiff, or the person who is suing, and the defendant, or the person against whom the suit is brought. Read about the rights of a defendant here: https://www.cliffsnotes.com/study-guides/american-government/civil-liberties/the-rights-of-defendants.
When a person is arrested, it does not exactly mean that the individual is also detained. But if a person is arrested and detained, the person needs to file a bail to be freed temporarily until the trial. In applying for bail, some conditions need to be met before being able to go out.
If you are bailed out of jail, you can still live your normal life provided that you will not be committing any illegal actions whilst your case is still ongoing.
Bail—Conditions and Uses
Bail is an amount of money the accused must pay to be released from the custody of the police. It is not considered as a fine, and its purpose is neither a punishment to the defendants. The main essence of it is to give assurance that defendants will be present in a trial and all pretrial hearings.
It is under the Bill of Rights that if a person is charged with a crime, he or she has the right to be released on bail under reasonable terms and conditions. This is only applicable if the accused does not have any qualities that will make detention needed furthermore until the trial such as if the defendant is sure to fail to go to the trial and pretrial hearings if he or she poses danger to the safety or welfare of a person, if he or she obstructed the course of justice, or interfered with a witness.
Types of Bails
1. Citation Release
This type happens when police officers are the ones who will go to your house and provides you a citation release which indicates the time and the date you have to appear in court. It is one way to deal with low-level offenses from people who do not have large criminal records. Read more about minor offenses here.
2. Surety Bond
A surety bond, or more known as a bail bond, is a type of service offered by companies to a defendant or the Indemnitor when he or she does not have a sufficient sum of money for the bail. If the defendant misses the court trial, either the defendant or the Indemnitor is liable to pay the bail amount to the company.
Release on your recognizance (ROR) is a written promise signed by the accused ensuring that they will be present for the future court hearing. The accused also promises that he or she will not engage in illegal activities whilst out on recognizance. The judge dismisses the bail fees afterward. This type of bail is only granted to the ones related to traffic or minor and technical crimes. Companies like Bail Bonds National can help enlighten you about this process more.
4. Property Bond
Property bond happens when a defendant provides the bail bond companies with documents of their property such as titles, to keep as collaterals. This is applicable if the defendant does not have enough cash with him.
5. Immigration Bond
If the defendant is undocumented or an illegal immigrant, their bail will be referred to the embassies but they still need to face the charges given to them. The bond is also posted to the federal government. The person who’s pressed with charges may have a harder time untangling himself from the case since he is not legally allowed to be in that country in the first place.
6. Cash Bond
Cash bond is the most typical procedure when the defendant has enough money to bail himself or herself out. The service of bail bond companies is not needed and the defendant only needs to ensure that he or she will not miss and trial hearings.
Pre-trial and Trial Hearings
A pretrial is a session between parties to a case that happens before the beginning of a trial. The parties involved in the pretrial hearing may include the plaintiff and their attorney, the defendant, and their attorney. The judge or magistrate is the one who will have a huge part in the process. It is considered as the accused person’s last court appearance for a criminal charge before the case goes to trial. The pretrial hearing helps in clearing up the situation before the trial, which will help the trial to proceed without any further distractions.
If the accused filed a bail and is approved, he or she still needs to attend the hearing. The defendant cannot miss any hearing because this will result in not retrieving the assurance money.
A court hearing, also known as a bench trial or a jury trial, is the time when all the facts of a case are heard, for the judge or jury to make the final decision on the case.