If you have been arrested for a crime in Virginia, you have the right to request that the court release you from jail while you are awaiting your trial. A bond hearing is a procedure that allows you to present a case to the court so that they can decide whether you should remain locked up or allowed to have temporary freedom until your trial begins.
Depending on your individual circumstances, getting and winning a bond hearing can be a complex process. As such, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side who can ensure that the proceedings go as smoothly as possible.
What Kinds of Bonds Are Available in Virginia?
The three types of bonds Virginia courts grant are recognizance bonds, unsecured bonds, and secured bonds. The differences are as follows:
- Recognizance bonds are essentially written promises that an accused person signs stating that they will show up at court. Because these bonds are the least restrictive of the three types available, the accused person must have either a minimal criminal history, excellent references, or both.
- An unsecured bond is more restrictive than a recognizance bond. In an unsecured bond, the Commonwealth can force the accused to pay a certain amount of money if they fail to come back to court when they promise to.
- A secured bond is even more restrictive than an unsecured bond. Unlike an unsecured bond, a secured bond requires the accused to put up money or property as collateral. If they do not have the full amount, the accused must find a bondsman, who will charge a fee for supplying the bond on behalf of the accused.
To determine whether you qualify for any of these bonds, you must attend a bond hearing.
How Do I Get a Bond Hearing?
The first opportunity you have to receive a bond is when you are brought to a magistrate after your arrest. The magistrate will decide at that point whether to grant you a bond or to hold you in jail. If you are held in jail, you must ask to see a judge in order to get a bond. At this point, you will be asked whether you would like legal representation. If so, you will have to wait until your attorney is able to file the paperwork required so that the bond hearing can take place.
How Do I Persuade the Judge to Give Me a Bond?
Virginia law requires a judge to grant a bond unless they have probable cause to believe that the accused will not appear at a trial or hearing. Furthermore, bond may be denied if there is probable cause to believe that the freedom of the accused individual will constitute an unreasonable danger to themselves or another person.
When establishing probable cause, a prosecutor must simply prove to the judge that there is relevant information about you that makes it likely that you pose a flight risk or a risk of danger.
Contact an Experienced Virginia Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Having an experienced defense lawyer on your side can greatly increase the chances that the court will grant your bond. The seasoned legal team at Invictus Law has the experience, skill, and resources necessary to fight on your behalf so that you can enjoy your liberty as you await your trial. Time is of the essence. The sooner you are in touch with us, the sooner we will be able to help you so that you don’t have to prepare for your court case from inside a jail cell. Contact us today at 757-317-5125 for a consultation.