- March 08, 2014
Before you proceed to attend your bail hearing, you should understand what it means to have a bail hearing in terms of what to expect and what it entails for you as the defendant. The bail hearing will take place as part of the arraignment, which is a term used to describe the first court date in which the defendant (you) is present. No matter what type of offense you have committed, it is highly recommended that you do not attend this first court date alone without the assistance of a legal aid or advisor. The following article will help you understand what you should do before your bail hearing.
Obtain Legal Aid
After you have been arrested, you will be given the option to contact your personal lawyer or to have a defense attorney appointed by the court to handle your case. If you choose the latter, you may also incur fees for this service. In some cases, this service is free for individuals who do not have access to the resources required to obtain legal assistance.
Know What's Coming
During the arraignment and bail hearing, you will need to understand the process that you will go through in order to complete the first step of this legal process. In specific, you should expect to stand in front of a judge who will be responsible for deciding your fate when it comes to the charges you have been given. In the courtroom, you should also expect to see the prosecuting attorney as well as your own defense attorney. These two law specialists will work against each other, as the prosecuting attorney will be hoping to make the charges stick to you.
Understand the Purpose of the Initial Hearing
The purpose of the initial hearing is to ensure that the defendant is completely aware of the charges that have been place against him/her (you). At this stage, the defendant (you) cannot plead your case to the judge in hopes of changing the charges that have been set out against you. Instead, you will find out why you are being charged and if you have a chance for bail. Thus, the judge will determine the bail during the initial hearing.
Prepare for the Bail Hearing
Although you will not have much time as the defendant to prepare for the initial bail hearing, you will want to know what you can do to support your attorney in defending your case. As a defense attorney, this individual will try to work with you in coming up with various reasons as to why you would not be seen as a flight risk to the judge in court. Thus, your defense attorney may ask you to obtain documentation from your family and friends that support your character and demonstrate that you can be trusted to show up to your first bail hearing. For instance, you may need to provide school records, your resume, and/or proof of work in the community. All of these documents will work towards showing your good character and other positive traits.