The criminal defense lawyer Grand Rapids, MI places its trust in for the top defense available is Blanchard Law.
When you’ve been charged with a felony offense, your first appearance in court will be at the arraignment. The purpose of an arraignment is to advise you of the charges against you, and the possible penalties that can be imposed if you are ultimately convicted of the charges. The court will enter a plea of not guilty at the arraignment, and will determine the amount of your bond.
Depending on the manner in which the court sets the bond, there are various ways in which your bond may be posted.
- If the court sets a personal recognizance bond (PR bond), you can post the bond by signing a promise to come back to court and abide by the conditions placed on your bond. The dollar amount set on the PR bond represents the amount that the court could require you to pay if you fail to appear for a scheduled court hearing.
- If the court sets a cash or surety bond, then you have the option of posting the amount of the bond in cash, or using a bail bondsman. For example, if your bond is set at $1,000.00, then you can be released from jail upon payment of $1,000.00 in cash. At the conclusion of your case, the full amount of $1,000.00 will be refunded to you, or applied toward the payment of your fines and costs if your case ends in a conviction. Alternatively, you can hire a bail bondsman, who you would pay a fee to post the bond on your behalf. The fee is typically roughly ten percent of the amount of the bond. So, if your bond is $1,000.00, you would pay the bail bondsman approximately $100.00. The bail bondsman would post an insurance policy with the court to ensure your attendance at all court hearings, and you would be released. At the conclusion of the case, no money would be returned to you or applied toward any fines and costs.
- If the court sets a cash or ten percent bond, you again have the option to post the full amount of the bond and obtain 100% refund at the conclusion of your case. You also have the option to post ten percent of the face value of the bond. For example, on a $1,000.00 bond, you could obtain your release upon payment of $100.00. At the conclusion of the case, the court would retain a ten percent fee, and 90% of the bond would either be refunded to you or applied toward the payment of any fines an costs. You also have the option of posting the bond using a bail bondsman.
If you’re able to post your bond as a cash or ten percent bond, it usually makes the most economic sense. That way, all or the bulk of your money is returned to you at the end. However, for some, it makes sense to use a bail bondsman, as the amount that is required is significantly less than the full amount of the bond, and you may need to reserve the limited funds that you have to hire an attorney, pay an investigator or expert witnesses, and obtain services for mitigation.
Particularly when you are facing felony charges, hiring an attorney prior to your arraignment is advisable. First, an attorney may be able to assist you with having a lower bond set, as they will be able to communicate to the Court the factors that are important to the Court in setting bond. Second, things after the arraignment will move quickly, and you will have at least two important hearings within only a few weeks of the arraignment hearing. It’s important to give your attorney as much time as possible to prepare for those important hearings.
If you’ve been charged with a felony anywhere in Michigan, contact the Criminal Defense Lawyer Grand Rapids, MI relies on to provide the top criminal defense services in West Michigan. Contact Blanchard Law now at 616-773-2945.