If you or a loved one have never been arrested previously you may wonder what the process is and how do you go about getting released. Well, the first part would be to go through the booking process but afterward, in order to be released, you would first need to have a bond hearing. But what exactly is a bond hearing and how does it work? To answer those questions, here is a quick overview.
A bond hearing in not a trial
After getting arrested before any actual trials or hearings occur about the charges that led to an arrest, the first thing that will happen is a bond hearing. A bond hearing is a type of court process where a judge will decide whether or not it is appropriate to offer the defendant bond and if so what the bond cost should be set at to negotiate a release. During the bond hearing, there won’t be any deliberations or verdicts in regard to charges but the bond hearing is simply there to see if the defendant should be released while awaiting the actual trial.
There is no jury but it open to the public
One main difference between bond hearing and criminal trials is the lack of a jury. Bond hearings rely solely on the discretion of a judge which also means that bond hearings happen far more quickly (usually within 24 hours of booking) because jurors don’t need to be vetted to take part in the hearing. In addition to a judge, the defendant will also have a defense attorney present and loved ones are usually able to attend as well.
The judge will look at several factors to make a decision
When a judge decides on bond they will look at several factors such as the severity of the defendant’s charges, previous criminal record, and what the defendant’s flight risk is. Beyond this, a judge will also first and foremost decide if there is any danger to society or to the defendant themselves if they were to be released and if the answer to those questions is no then bond will be revoked completely. In all other situations, a bond cost will be set and bond conditions (rules that must be followed after release) will be outlined and that will conclude the bond hearing.
Overall a bond hearing is a pretty simple and straightforward process that is done quickly so that the defendant can be released in a timely manner if bond is met.