Immediate jail release is one of the most overlooked components of a successful defense. Pretrial incarceration transforms the presumption of innocence, which is the foundation of most defenses, into a presumption of guilt. Most jurors assume people in jail did something wrong. Additionally, many incarcerated defendants accept unfavorable plea bargain agreements, just to get it over with.
So, a Dayton criminal attorney’s work includes more than advocating for defendants in court, standing up for them during plea negotiations, and collecting evidence on their behalf. It includes immediate jail release. If that does not happen, your attorney must play from behind, and that is a bad position to be in.
Own Recognizance Release
Ohio county jails have one of the highest proportions of unsentenced inmates in the country. Many individuals simply cannot afford cash bail or even a bail bond. So, officials have significantly expanded the pretrial release program.
For detention purposes, OR release transforms arrests into traffic tickets. When drivers sign traffic tickets, they promise to appear in court, so officers release them. Own Recognizance release is essentially the same thing. If defendants promise to appear in court, the sheriff releases them.
OR release is usually only available if the defendant is charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor, like drug possession, and the defendant has no criminal record. Additionally, in most cases, a review board must authorize OR release. Sometimes, this board does not meet right away.
Cash Bail/Bail Bond
When arrestees are booked, the sheriff usually sets a presumptive bail amount based on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history. That amount is usually around $750 for a misdemeanor and $2,500 for a felony.
Cash bail is like a security deposit. Tenants give the deposit to the landlord when they move in. When they move out, if they have complied with the lease, they get the money back.
If the defendant complies with all bail conditions, such as attending court dates, staying out of trouble with the law, and reporting to a supervision officer, the defendant gets bail money back when the case is resolved.
Bail bonds are basically insurance policies. If the house burns down, the insurance company covers the loss. If the defendant does not comply with a bail condition, the bail bond company covers the loss. Most companies charge about a 15% premium for bail bonds.
Bail Reduction Hearings
In serious cases, the sheriff sometimes does not set bail. In other cases, the amount might be too high, even for a bail bond. In these situations, a Dayton criminal attorney demands a bail reduction hearing. At this hearing, the judge considers a wide range of additional factors to determine bail and bail amount, such as the defendant’s:
- Ability to pay,
- Connections with the community,
- Likelihood of fleeing the jurisdiction, and
- Threat to the community.
Frequently, a Dayton criminal attorney and the prosecutor resolve these matters out of court. For example, the state might agree to lower bail if the defendant agrees to additional conditions, such as house arrest.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Lawyer
Prompt jail release jumpstarts a successful defense. For a free consultation with an experienced Dayton criminal attorney, contact the Comunale Law Office. Convenient payment plans are available.