Bail in New York is an important aspect of the criminal justice system that allows individuals to secure their release from custody while awaiting trial. In the state of New York, the bail process can be complex and confusing, and it is important to understand the laws and procedures involved. From determining the amount of bail to making arrangements for payment, the bail process in New York can be overwhelming for those who are not familiar with it. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will explore the topic of bail in New York, including how it works, the different types of bail, and the options available for those who cannot afford to pay. By understanding the bail process in New York, individuals can be better prepared to navigate the criminal justice system and protect their rights while awaiting trial.
Purpose Of Bail In New York
At your arraignment, a judge may decide to set bail or impose another securing order throughout the boroughs of New York City and other parts of the state. The playing ground has altered from earlier times when an attorney representing you at your arraignment had few options to fight against excessively high bail impositions. The current versions of the laws governing securing orders mandate that “the court, in all cases unless otherwise provided by law, must impose the least restrictive kind and degree of control or restriction that is necessary to secure [your] return to court,” even though the consequences of an arrest, an indictment, and a conviction remain the same. CPL 510.30(1). (1).
As a result, it is crucial that your criminal defense lawyer make sure the court does not set bail merely because the prosecution claims you pose a threat to the public or that your release would endanger the larger community when you appear before a judge in any New York State court and are formally informed of the charges you face. Simply put, every judge, regardless of the venue or jurisdiction, must uphold the law, whether or not they agree with its tenets.
Factors To Consider Before Setting Bail Or Other Securing Order
Your arraignment attorney must make the case that bail is unlawful as a matter of law if you have been charged with a felony that cannot be secured by custodial imprisonment or a comparable order of security. Hence, the District Attorney or another law enforcement agency must charge you with a Qualifying Offense before imposing a monetary condition like bail, as opposed to those that are non-monetary or releasing you on your own recognizance, or ROR. Even if you are charged with such a crime, the court cannot arbitrarily order security measures. Judges must instead adhere to the rules outlined in CPL 510.30(1). (a-g).
These factors include:
- Your activities and history.
- The criminal offense(s) and charge(s) you face.
- Your criminal record solely as it relates to convictions as opposed to arrests.
- Whether you have previously been adjudicated a Juvenile Delinquent or Youthful Offender.
- Your previous record with respect to flight to avoid prosecution and not merely warrants for failing to comply with plea conditions such as community service.
- Your individual financial circumstances in the event monetary bail is set and whether posting bond would be an undue hardship. The court may consider your ability to obtain a secured, unsecured or partially secured bond.
- If the charge is one of Domestic Violence, whether there are any prior convictions for violating an Order of Protection or a “history of use or possession of firearms.”
Types Of Securing Orders From Bail To Non-Monetary Conditions
CPL 500.10 describes the many sorts of security orders, both monetary and non-monetary, according to the offense committed, and CPL 520.10(1) establishes how different bail choices can be attached by a judge. Cash, a credit card, a secured or partially secured surety bond, an unsecured surety bond, an appearance bond, and a secured or partially secured appearance bond are some examples. Also, if it is required for your release, electronic monitoring is allowed; however, you, the accused, are not compelled to pay for this service.
A court is required to post bail in accordance with CPL 520.10(2)(b), which states that “bail shall be posted in any one of three or more of the forms specified in subdivision one of this section, designated in the alternative, and shall designate different amounts varying with the forms, except that one of the forms shall be either an unsecured or partially secured surety bond, as selected by the court.”
Bail Modification And Revocation
Although a judge can set bail or a condition of release in one way at your arraignment, under CPL 530.60(2), if you commit a violent crime while you are out of detention on your initial felony charge, for instance, a judge can set more stringent conditions of release (a). A judge may also alter your status even if you are not charged with a felony but yet commit a new felony offense, wilfully avoid appearing in court as needed, or disobey an Order of Protection.
Yet, as a matter of law, your attorney is entitled to a bail modification hearing where the court must determine that you committed the crimes required to revoke your present terms based on the appropriate legal standards of clear and persuasive evidence or reasonable cause to suspect. The judge must nonetheless impose “the least restrictive condition or conditions that will fairly insure [your] return to court,” even if the prosecution is successful in persuading the court that new and more stringent restrictions are required. CPL 510.40(3). (3).
The removal of all restrictions, your release on non-cash conditions, or even a change in a bond can all be requested by your defense attorney at any subsequent court appearance after your arraignment, provided you are compliant and attend as planned. Even if they reject your application in the end, judges must nonetheless review these applications and cannot ignore their job. CPL 510.40(3). (3).
You actually have a legal right to be heard and to provide justification for a less onerous method of securing your return to court. CPL 510.20.
Consequences Of Failing To Appear After Posting Bail In New York
When someone gets arrested in New York, posting bail is a frequent procedure. It enables the release of the defendant from custody while they await trial. Yet, there could be serious repercussions if you don’t show up after posting bond. The consequences of failing to appear after posting bail in New York will be covered in this article.
Prior to anything else, it’s crucial to realize that when a criminal posts bond, they are effectively pledging to show up in court on the given date. This pledge is broken and the court will view your absence as a betrayal of trust. As a result, the court may issue an arrest warrant for the offender, who will be detained right once if discovered.
In addition, the court has the authority to declare bail forfeited if a defendant fails to show up for court. It follows that the court will be entitled to the money or property used as bail. The defendant will incur a large financial loss as a result of being unable to get their money back from the bail money they placed. The defendant may occasionally be required to pay additional penalties or fees by the court.
Additionally, if the offender doesn’t show up in court, they may be charged with additional crimes. For instance, New York’s Criminal Law § 215.55 defines failure to appear after posting a bond as a crime. This crime is a Class E felony, which carries a maximum four-year jail sentence.
Failure to appear after posting bail has serious repercussions that could harm the defendant’s case. The defendant’s absence could be interpreted by the court as a sign of guilt or a disregard for the legal system. The defendant may find it more difficult to win their case as a result of this.
Challenging Bail In New York: Strategies For Reduction Or Release
Bail is a sum of money that a defendant must pay to secure their release from jail while awaiting trial. In New York, bail is set according to a predetermined schedule, which takes into account the type of offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and other factors. However, in some cases, bail may be set higher than what the defendant can afford. In this article, we will discuss strategies for challenging bail in New York.
Show that the Bail is Unaffordable:
The first step in challenging bail is to demonstrate to the court that the bail is unaffordable. This can be done by providing evidence of the defendant’s income and financial obligations, such as bills and other expenses. If the defendant cannot afford to pay the bail, the court may reduce the bail amount or release the defendant on their own recognizance.
Demonstrate Community Ties and Lack of Flight Risk:
The court may consider the defendant’s community ties when setting bail. This includes evidence of the defendant’s employment, family, and other factors that demonstrate the defendant’s ties to the community. If the defendant can demonstrate strong ties to the community and is not a flight risk, the court may be more likely to reduce the bail amount or release the defendant on their own recognizance.
Show that the Defendant is not a Threat to Society:
The court may also consider the defendant’s criminal history and the nature of the charges when setting bail. If the defendant does not have a significant criminal history and is not considered a threat to society, the court may be more likely to reduce the bail amount or release the defendant on their own recognizance.
Present Mitigating Factors:
If the defendant has mitigating factors, such as mental health issues, substance abuse, or other issues that may have contributed to their arrest, the court may consider these factors when setting bail. The defendant may also consider presenting a plan for rehabilitation or treatment to the court, which can demonstrate their commitment to addressing the underlying issues that led to their arrest.
Consider Hiring a Bail Bondsman:
If the defendant is unable to pay the bail amount, they may consider hiring a bail bondsman. A bail bondsman will typically charge a fee, usually around 10% of the bail amount, and will post the bail on the defendant’s behalf. This can be a viable option for defendants who cannot afford to pay the full bail amount.
Alternatives To Bail In New York: Pretrial Services And Supervised Release
Bail is a financial obligation that is required for a defendant to be released from jail while awaiting trial. However, in New York, there are alternatives to bail that may be available to defendants who cannot afford to pay bail. In this article, we will discuss two alternatives to bail in New York: pretrial services and supervised release.
Pretrial services are a set of programs and services offered by the court to defendants who cannot afford to pay bail. The goal of pretrial services is to provide support and supervision to defendants while they are awaiting trial. This can include services such as drug and alcohol testing, mental health counseling, and job training.
Pretrial services also include supervision by a pretrial services officer. The officer will monitor the defendant’s compliance with court-ordered conditions, such as attending court dates, staying drug and alcohol-free, and adhering to curfews. The officer may also provide referrals to community-based organizations for additional services, such as housing or employment assistance.
Supervised release is another alternative to bail in New York. It is a form of pretrial release that allows a defendant to be released from jail under certain conditions, such as attending court dates, staying drug and alcohol-free, and adhering to curfews. Similar to pretrial services, supervised release also includes supervision by a probation officer.
Supervised release may also include additional conditions, such as electronic monitoring or participation in a treatment program. The conditions of supervised release are determined by the court, and failure to comply with these conditions may result in the defendant being returned to jail.
What You Should Know
It is far more satisfying and rewarding to leave court on your own will when the judge closes the door to your cell than it is to hear the judge slam the gavel down at your arraignment. Never forget that before a judge can merely imprison you or impose bail conditions that are excessively onerous, the prosecution must prove its case and you have rights. This still holds true even if a bench warrant was issued because you skipped a planned court appearance a considerable time after your first arraignment.
Become informed. As your case progresses through the criminal procedure, be aware that you have the right to ask the court for minimization and less stringent release terms. Put in place the defense that has the best chance of succeeding and is the strongest.