Bail and Bonds
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.