Although TV criminals often assert that they'll be bailed out "before dinnertime," in real life, how long does it take before a suspect gets a bond hearing after an arrest?
The answer depends on your state's laws and the type of crime the suspect is accused of having committed.
Here's a general legal overview:
When Does the Bond Hearing Occur?
Depending on the type of crime the suspect is arrested for, the bond amount may be given right after booking or the suspect may have to sit in jail for a couple days before a bond hearing before a judge.
For example, for first-time DUI offenders, most jails have standard posted bail amounts for misdemeanor DUIs and other "common" crimes. If that's the case, then the suspect will typically be notified of their bond amount after they've been booked. However, if the suspect is unable to pay the bail amount or can't secure a bond through a bail bond agency, then the individual will remain in jail until arraignment. At arraignment, the suspect can ask to be released on his own recognizance or for a lower bail amount.
Those who are arrested for more serious crimes like murder or domestic violence will have to stay in jail until the bond hearing. Most states can't hold suspects in jail for more than 48 to 72 hours without filing charges against them. This means that if a suspect is held longer than the state-mandated time period, there may be a civil rights violation. For more serious crimes, bond hearings usually occur at arraignment after charges have been filed.
What Happens at a Bond Hearing?
At a bond hearing, a judge will consider several factors when determining the bail amount, including:
- The suspect's prior criminal record,
- Physical and mental condition,
- Family ties,
- History of drug or alcohol abuse,
- Community ties, and
- The suspect's record concerning appearances at court proceedings.
Because bail amounts and the length of time a suspect can be held until a bond hearing vary by state, you'll want to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney for a better understanding of your state's laws.
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