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Bail and Bonds

Tacoma Attorneys Assisting Individuals Facing Criminal Charges

In many cases in which a person is charged with a crime, the court will allow the person to be released on his or her own recognizance. In some cases, however, the court will impose a bond or bail requirement that the defendant must meet prior to being released. Certain bail and bond requirements may be burdensome and may affect a defendant’s liberties and ability to properly prepare a defense. If you live in Washington and are charged with a crime, it is important to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to discuss bail and bonds. The Tacoma bail lawyers at the Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC can advise you about what you can expect going forward and assist you in developing a compelling defense. We represent people in criminal matters in Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties.

Bail and Bonds Defined

In certain criminal cases, the court may impose a bail or bond requirement that the defendant must meet to be released from jail prior to a trial. Bail and bonds are similar in that they both allow a criminal defendant to secure his or her release from jail prior to trial, but there are certain differences between them. Bail is the term used for the amount of money that a defendant must pay to obtain their release. While the bail required for release from jail in cases involving minor charges may be within a defendant’s financial means, in many cases, the bail requirement is much higher than the amount that the defendant is able to pay. In such cases, the defendant may be able to obtain a bond, which is typically a portion of the bail posted by a surety, with the promise that the defendant will appear for any court proceedings.

Washington Bail and Bond Requirements

Under CrR 3.2, a court may impose a bail or bond requirement. Bail or bond is typically imposed in cases in which the defendant is deemed a flight risk, or the court finds that there is a danger that the defendant will engage in criminal activity if he or she is released. A bail attorney in the Tacoma area can help a defendant fight against a finding that they pose a flight risk or a threat of criminal activity. In cases in which the court determines that a defendant is a flight risk, it can require the defendant to execute either an unsecured bond, a bond with a solvent surety, or a bond in a specified amount, with up to 10% of the amount to be deposited with the court’s registry. The court can also impose similar bond requirements if it finds that a defendant poses a substantial risk of danger to the community if he or she is released.

Bail Forfeiture

Bonds are typically obtained through bail bond agents, who are regulated by the Department of Licensing. Under RCW 18.185.020, only individuals who are 18 or older and who meet the residency and criminal background requirements can obtain a bail bond agent’s license. If you need advice in finding a reputable bail bond agent, our Tacoma bail attorneys can assist you. If a defendant has been released after posting bond or bail and then fails to appear at a court proceeding or otherwise violates the terms of his or her release, CrR 3.2 provides that the defendant forfeits any money paid or owed, and the court can issue a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest. Additionally, once the bail bond agent who issued the bond to the defendant is notified of the defendant’s failure to appear, under RCW 10.19.100, the bail bond agent must produce the defendant within 60 days or forfeit the bond.

Speak with a Capable Criminal Defense Lawyer Regarding Your Charges

If you have been charged with a crime in Tacoma or the surrounding areas, it is essential to find out about how bail and bonds may affect your case. At the Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC, our trusted attorneys can formulate persuasive arguments to help you seek to prevent or limit any bond or bail requirements that may impair your pretrial release. We have an office in Tacoma, and we can meet by appointment at our satellite office in Vashon. You can contact us at 253-203-1645 or through the form online to set up a free and confidential meeting with a bail lawyer in the Tacoma area.

Client Reviews
I was represented by James White and have been nothing but satisfied with the outcome. Jame is very efficient and eliminates much of the stress that the judicial system can place on an offender. I am very grateful to have such a great attorney and owe him my gratitude for helping me when times were rough. Not only is he professional, but he is also someone you can talk to on a personal level. I highly recommend James White and would undoubtedly use him again in the future. If you are in search of an attorney, do yourself a favor and have the law offices of Smith & White represent you. Mike D.
I contacted James after my charge for reckless endangerment, and right from the start he was informative and reassuring. James worked hard to get me the best possible outcome, and was always very quick to return a call or text. He was straightforward and honest with me about my case, explaining both the good and the bad in a way that was reassuring without being misleading. Overall, I highly recommend Smith and White to anyone who is looking for the most professional representation in their legal matters. Matthew B.
Attorney James White was a beacon of hope for me at a time when my options appeared limited and the likeness of a satisfactory resolution seemed close to nothing. Not only was he able to defend me in a specific sticky situation in which I hired him for, I felt as though he also went above and beyond in efforts to provide me with the best outcome possible. His calm and professional demeanor offered such a great assurance to myself and those I care about around me. I am completely grateful for his service and I most definitely recommend Mr. White. Leyasha J.
Derek Smith guided us through a troubling legal situation with absolute professionalism. This was my first experience with a trial situation and Mr. Smith was able to address all of my questions and concerns in a way that helped address some of the fear I had regarding the legal system. Mr. Smith was highly effective during the trial and the result ended up in our favor. Legal troubles are scary and it was great knowing we had a fantastic legal team on our side to help navigate the somewhat confusing situation. My wife and I emphatically recommend this law firm. Steve B.
Mr. Smith was wonderful to work with. He was professional, knowledgeable and effective!! He takes the time to listen, which is amazing and can be a hard quality to find! He is informative and straight forward, which I truly appreciate! He was quite helpful on another matter that I asked his advise on. Thank you!!! Melika