Articles Tagged with bail

Gallaecia_petrea_02-57c-200x300Many people can not afford to post bail when they are arrested. This has caused a lot of Illinois prisons to be overcrowded. Legislators in Chicago has taken several measures to try to lower the cost of bail.

This summer, the Governor Rauner signed legislation allowing bail relief to non-violent offenders at a local Chicago Baptist Institute. This will create the opportunity for those who are detained for low-level crimes to pay a lower fee to be released. The Governor believes that this is “an important step in improving our state’s criminal justice system. Our system must work equally for all our residents, in every community, regardless of their income,” Rauner said. “We should be focused on putting people in jobs, not jail.”

Knowing When and How to Post Bail

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The Chicago Tribune reports that a Chicago man is currently being held at the Skokie courthouse jail with bail set at $250,000 for allegedly Tasering a 79-year old woman during an attempted robbery. The man is charged with aggravated battery and attempted robbery after supposedly attacking the elderly woman while she was sitting in her car. The man’s public defender has released a statement indicating that the defendant does not have enough money to post bail. Therefore, he will remain in jail at least until his preliminary hearing which is currently scheduled for September 8th. But why did the court decide to set this man’s bail at $250,000? What factors does a court take into consideration when setting bail? This article provides a brief overview of what bail is and how it is set in Illinois.

What is Bail?

Simply put, bail is the amount of money that a court requires in exchange for releasing an accused criminal defendant from custody while he or she awaits a day in court. Money paid as bail is refundable and is returned to the defendant after he or she appears for the court date and satisfies any other conditions of bail. However, if the defendant skips town or does not appear in court for some reason then that bail is forfeited. The idea is that defendants who have posted a seizable bail will be strongly incentivized to show up at court for their trials.

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Bail is a monetary pledge (a bond) telling the court, that if the court will authorize your release, you promise to abide by any conditions the court demands, and to appear at all hearing dates going forward, including trial. By posting this bond, you are agreeing that should you fail to abide by any of the court’s conditions, your bail will be forfeited, and you will be returned to jail to await your trial. That is the premise under which the court will set bail, and if paid by you or by someone on your behalf, authorize your release from jail.

Can Your Right to Bail be Denied?

When accused of a crime, placed under arrest, and locked up in jail, what are your rights? Are you entitled to be released on bail? How much bail can the courts impose for your release?

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You have been arrested. You do not have a “get out of jail” free card, so what do you do? If you are accused of a crime and arrested in Chicago, the first thing you will want to do is call your attorney. The very next thing you will want to do is find out if you are eligible for bail. But what is the process?

The Illinois State Legislature does permit an accused to be released on bond, however, unlike most other states, Illinois does not permit private bail bond companies to operate anywhere in the state. The bail bond must be obtained from a state- or county-run agency.

After bail is set, an accused may obtain a bond by paying the full amount of the bail in cash (a “C” bond), paying a percentage of the bail (a “D” bond which is usually 10% of the total amount of the bail), or providing collateral (i.e., a lien on real estate) before he or she can be released. The deposit for the bond will be returned to the accused after he or she appears in court, or if real estate was used as collateral, the lien placed on the real estate will be removed. IllinoisCourts.gov

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Bail violations are violations of the terms of your release from prison while you are awaiting trial. There can be many conditions imposed as part of your bond, and a violation of any one of them can result in serious criminal penalties, including being sent or returned to prison.

What is a Bond Violation?

If you have ever seen a modern “cop” drama on television, you are aware of the concept of bond, or bail. After you are arrested, in most cases you can give the state of Illinois some amount of money to hold as a type of collateral, or insurance, to ensure that you will appear for your court date, or comply with other conditions while you await trial.  If you follow all of the conditions of your release and show up for trial, that money is refunded to you. If you break any of the conditions of your bail or fail to appear for your trial, you could not only forfeit the bail money, but you could face even more criminal charges than you are already facing.

When a person is arrested and faces criminal charges that may result in jail time, there is often a lengthy period of time between the initial arrest and the trial. During the time between your arrest and the eventual trial, bail can be posted, allowing you to remain free until trial.

What is Bail?

People post bail by paying money as a guarantee that they will not flee the area and that they will return for the trial. As long as the offender out on bail appears in court for trial, the money is returned. If the defendant does not return to the court, the bail money is forfeited.