Getting arrested is a whole process, and while everyone knows about the whole detainment and booking aspect of an arrest, they may not understand what a bond hearing is and what is supposed to happen in it. To help someone who has never gone through a bond hearing before, here is a quick rundown.
Bond hearings are not normal court hearings
One of the biggest misconceptions about bond hearings is that they are your first court hearing towards your charges. This is not technically true. While it is sometimes called a first hearing, it actually has nothing to do with what you are actually charged for. The only purpose for a bond hearing is to decide whether or not a defendant should be allowed to post bond and be released while awaiting their actual court hearing.
How bail is decided upon
While the charges the defendant is facing may not be part of what is dealt with in a bond hearing, it is still something that is considered when the judge decides on bail. This is because the courts need to evaluate what the flight and safety risk is of letting someone out on bail. To get a good understanding, the judge will often look at the current charges as well as past criminal record as well as if there are any red flags (such as significant resources or being from out-of-state) that can make it more feasible for a defendant to not show up to their official court hearing.
What a bond hearing is like
When a bond hearing occurs, the judge will preside and the defendant may have legal defense but there will be no jury because the judge alone will decide upon bail. Typically bond hearings are open to the public so family members can be there however these rules may have changed temporarily due to the pandemic. From this point, the judge will hear what legal counsel argues and looks at the defendant’s record as well as asks any questions that may help them further in their decision. At this point the judge will announce their decision and if bond is granted, they will set the cost and the defendant at that point decides on how they would try to pay for the bond.
In the end, bond hearings are very straight forward and should not be something to be afraid of since the vast majority of people will be offered bond.