Posting bail is a fundamental right given to every accused individual. But exceptions do exist. In extreme circumstances, a judge may deem it necessary and reasonable to put someone in custody with no chance for bail. This occurs when releasing the convicted individual from custody would compromise the safety of the community.
Bail is mostly intended to make sure that the accused will attend his or her court hearing. It’s also meant to safeguard and maintain the dependability and truthfulness of the court process and to protect the lives of victims by preventing direct contact with the accused. When it comes to that last purpose in particular, judges take no chances in offering bail to potentially dangerous criminals. The court may decide to suspend the right to post bail when major felony charges are committed such as murder, arson or kidnapping.
Most states provide the following classification for criminal offenses. Then, depending on the classification, the accused may or may not be eligible for bail.
1. Felonies – Major criminal acts like murder, rape, arson, drug possession, and kidnapping are classified as major felonies. A person who is found guilty of first degree murder may be incarcerated for a minimum of five years or lifetime imprisonment. In some instances, the punishment is lifetime imprisonment without any possibility of bail. Felonies can be capital, first degree, second degree or third degree and may or may not get bail. Consulting a lawyer or a bondsman can help you learn more specifics.
2. Misdemeanors – Under this category, all criminal offenses are punishable by at least one year imprisonment with or without a fine. Misdemeanors are also categorized into three classes: Class A, B, and C.
3. Infractions – Disorderly conducts and minor traffic violations fall under this category. Infraction fines rarely exceed $1000.
Misdemeanors and infractions are almost always eligible for bail. Crimes that are considered capital felonies (aggravated murder, rape, arson and kidnapping) generally don’t get bail. To make sure you get the most recent and accurate information about this matter, make an appointment with a legal professional.
Most defendants are given their chance to post bail while the trial schedule is not yet final. A reputable bail bond company is also helpful in case you need financial assistance during the process. Seek expert advice and request for bail details as early as possible to help you deal with challenges of a trial.