Bond Hearings in Virginia
The lawyers at Invictus Law recognize the process of being arrested and figuring out if you will be released on a criminal offense can be confusing. No one wants to be held in a jail cell for longer than necessary. Everyone who is arrested will not receive bond immediately. It is important to understand how the process work and how our criminal defense lawyers with Invictus Law can help you.
When you are arrested, you are taken before a magistrate. The officer gives a probable cause summary and the magistrate looks at your criminal history, as well as the charge(s) you are currently facing. The magistrate will then make a determination regarding your bond status to hold you or release you
If you are held without bond, you will more than likely go to your arraignment the next court day. At your arraignment, the court will explain what you are charged with. The court will also inquire as to what you want to do about legal representation. There are three options - retain your own lawyer, be interviewed to see if you qualify for court appoint counsel or represent yourself. The court will then set your court date. Every jurisdiction is different. In some jurisdictions, you can have a bond hearing at an arraignment, and in others you cannot. If you are in a jurisdiction where you can have a bond hearing at the arraignment, you want to make sure you retain and attorney as soon as possible so that you have representation before the Judge.
At a bond hearing, the court has two main determinations according Va. Code 19.2-120. One is whether you are going to be a danger to the community and the other is whether or not you will be a flight risk. Several factors go into how the judge decides the risk you place if released which include but are not limited to: ties to the community such as education, employment, family; length of time in the community; past criminal history; and current criminal charges. Some specific more dangerous charges have a presumption against the judge granting you a bond and you must overcome that presumption in order to get a bond. Our office can help you or your family and friends prepare documents and witnesses for the bond hearing.
If you are denied bond at your first hearing, you may appeal the decision and receive a completely new hearing in the Circuit Court of that jurisdiction. A new judge will hear your evidence and make a determination as your bond status. This hearing will typically take place a few days after your original bond hearing.
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