At your bail hearing, the judge will consider a number of factors to decide whether to grant you bail and how high to set your bond. The main considerations are the seriousness of the charge against you, past criminal convictions, prior failures to appear, and whether you are on parole or probation.
Ties to the Community Important in Bail Decisions
The judge has access to the files containing these facts, but does not likely know about your employment status, community ties, family, or personal history. Your Albuquerque criminal defense lawyer will want to emphasize these things to show what an upstanding citizen you are. A criminal history does not necessarily disqualify you from bail, and could even help—for example, if you were granted bail previously and showed up at court as required.
Information That Should be Passed on to Your Criminal Defense Attorney
Here are some questions your Albuquerque criminal defense lawyer is likely to ask when helping you prepare for your bail hearing. You should have this information available at the very first meeting with your criminal attorney. The point of this information is to illustrate your character and your ties to the community that minimize flight risks. In other words, you will show up for court.
About Your Family
- Are you married?
- For how long?
- Do you have any children who rely on you for support?
- If you have any children from past relationships, do you pay child support?
About Your Job
- Where do you work?
- How long have you worked there?
- Who is your supervisor?
- Will you be able to return to the job if you post bail?
About Your Living Situation
- How long have you lived in your home?
- Do you own or rent?
- If you rent your home, do you have a written lease?
- If you own your home, is the deed in your name? How much equity does the house have? What is the balance on your mortgage?
- Do you have anyone to stay with if you are not able to return to your home? What is their relationship to you?
About Your Criminal History
- Have you been arrested before?
- Do you have any prior convictions?
- What were your sentences?
- Were you granted bail?
- How many court appearances did you make?
- Were you sentenced to parole or probation? Did you meet the conditions of your parole?
About Your Residential Status
- Are you an American citizen?
- Where were you born?
- What is your immigration status?
- Do you have a green card?
- Have you ever been deported?
- Have you ever overstayed a visa or work permit?
About Your Military Service
- Have you served in the military?
- What branch?
- Where were you stationed?
- What was your rank?
- What type of discharge were you given?
Successful Bail Hearings Dependent Upon Your Showing of That You Will Show Up for Hearings
Bail hearings are not necessarily successful because of your criminal defense lawyer’s legal arguments, but because of the facts that the attorney can show to illustrate that you are a reliable person with community ties who presents a low flight risk.
In many cases, bail is a routine matter. In other more serious cases or cases involving repeat offenders, it can be quite challenging. It is very important that you seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney to guide you through the bail process.