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The Role of a Lawyer in Getting Bail

Criminal Attorneys Representing Tacoma Residents in Pretrial Proceedings

In Washington criminal cases, it is common for a judge to order a defendant to pay bail to be released. In some cases, however, the court may seek to impose a bail amount that is disproportionate to the crime alleged, or it may deny bail altogether. Thus, if you are charged with a crime, it is important to understand the role of a lawyer in getting bail. The seasoned Tacoma bail lawyers at the Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC can provide you with assertive and effective representation at bail hearings and throughout your criminal case. We assist people in criminal matters in cities in Pierce, King, Kitsap, and Thurston Counties.

The Imposition of Bail in Washington Criminal Cases

Under Washington law, whether to grant bail is within the discretion of the court. Under CrR 3.2 and 3.2.1, after a person is charged with a crime, he or she will appear before the court at a preliminary appearance, during which he or she will be formally advised of the charges against him or her and enter a plea. Additionally, the judge will determine whether the person is eligible for pre-trial release, and if so, what the terms of any release should be. Typically, the court will issue an order setting the amount of bail that the defendant must pay to remain out of jail until the completion of the trial. While the suggested bail amount for each crime is set forth by the Washington State Bail Schedule, the amounts are only recommendations, and the judge will assess the facts of each case to determine whether to set bail at an amount higher or lower than the suggested amount or deny bail altogether.

The Role of a Lawyer in Getting Bail

Since the decision of whether to grant or deny bail is entirely up to the judge, the evidence presented to the judge during the defendant’s preliminary appearance is critical to obtaining a fair bail amount. Thus, it is advisable for any criminal defendant to retain an experienced defense attorney to argue on his or her behalf during hearings in which bail is discussed. The attorney can present any evidence that will be favorable to the defendant, such as the defendant’s character and connection to the community, the defendant’s lack of criminal history, and a lack of previous threats by the defendant.

Additionally, if a court orders bail, but a defendant cannot post bail, under CrR 3.2, an attorney can file a motion reconsideration of bail, arguing that the bail amount is excessive under the relevant facts of the case. The court will review additional evidence and testimony, and if it finds the evidence compelling, it may reduce the bail to a lower amount. In cases in which the court denies bail and orders the detention of the defendant prior to trial, an attorney can file a writ seeking an expedited review of the detention order.

Even if the bail set is appropriate, in most cases, it will be necessary for the defendant to obtain a bail bond through a licensed bail bond agent. Criminal defense attorneys routinely deal with bail bond agents and can assist defendants in contacting trustworthy agents and facilitating communications and transactions between the defendant and the agent. Obtaining release on bail is important in any criminal case, since it allows a defendant to focus on preparing a defense and exercising his or her rights. As a result, a defendant should retain an attorney as soon as possible to assist with the process of getting bail.

Meet with a Proficient Criminal Attorney in Tacoma

Attorneys can exercise their skills and experience to help criminal defendants obtain more favorable results than if they were unrepresented. At the Law Offices of Smith & White, PLLC, our capable attorneys have assisted many defendants by successfully arguing for a release on bail or the reduction of an excessive bail amount. Our office is located in Tacoma, and we are available to meet by appointment at a second office in Vashon. We can be contacted at 253-203-1645 or via our online form to set up a free, confidential meeting to discuss the role of a lawyer in getting bail.

Client Reviews
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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.
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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