Being arrested can be a frightening experience, especially if it is happening for the first time.  The bad situation can become worse if you have to spend the time awaiting your trial in jail.  Due to the backlog in the court system and a variety of other reasons, it can sometimes take a very long time for your case to go to trial. One of the first steps in the process in terms of court appearances after a person gets arrested is arraignment. This usually happens within twenty-four hours after arrest. It is at arraignment that a judge decides whether or not to grant bail.

 

If a person is arrested on a misdemeanor or other minor violation, New York State allows the person to be issued an appearance ticket to appear in court at a later date. In this scenario, the person does not have to wait until arraignment to receive bail and can go home as soon as the police release him or her. However, the released person’s failure to appear later in court for arraignment can lead to a judge issue a warrant for the person’s arrest.

What is Bail?

For more serious charges, the issue of bail is handled before a judge. Bail is an amount of money or other security, such as a bail bond, that a judge orders an accused person charged with a crime to post in order to be released and return at a later date for trial. Bail is supposed to ensure that the accused appears in court when required and the amount set for bail depends on the judge. However, the accused, or his or her attorney, can make an argument for the judge to set a low bail or no bail at all, asking the judge instead to release the accused on his own recognizance or ROR. ROR means that the judge allows the accused to be released pending trial without having to post bail.

Under New York law, judges are required to consider several factors when determining whether to set bail, and in what amounts. These factors include the accused person’s family ties, educational background, employment background, financial resources, criminal history, character, reputation and any prior record of appearing in court after bail has been granted. All of these factors are supposed to inform the judge of the likelihood that the accused will return to court when necessary if granted bail.

In cases involving domestic violence, the judge may consider additional factors, such as whether or not the accused has a history of firearm possession and use, and whether the accused violated any orders of protection.

If a person charged with a felony is released on bail pending trial, the commission of any subsequent arrests can lead to the bail being revoked and the person having to wait for trial for both charges in jail.

Contact a Syracuse Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you fight to get bail, get released, and avoid waiting in jail for your trial. Contact experienced Syracuse criminal defense attorney George F. Hildebrandt for a consultation.