From the time of an arrest until the outcome of a trial there can be numerous court hearings scheduled for various reasons. When someone is charged with committing a crime and taken to jail he is considered an inmate. His first appearance before a judge is known as the arraignment. It can be held either on the day of the arrest or on the following day, depending on the court calendar.
At the arraignment the defendant will be advised of the charges against him, the penalties he may face and his right to legal representation. If the defendant can’t afford to hire a lawyer the judge will appoint a public defender at this point. The judge may also rule as to whether or not the defendant will be given the opportunity to post bail and be released to await his trial. The judge may follow the basic guidelines provided by the “bail schedule” which correlates the bail amount to the specific criminal charge but he is not restricted by it.
A judge can set bail at his own discretion but there are certain standards that most will usually take into account when doing so. The judge will consider the seriousness of the crime and if the defendant could in any way be a danger to the citizens of the community. If a guilty verdict could mean a long prison term the defendant may choose to avoid prosecution which could make him a high flight risk, especially if he has the financial means to do so. The judge will also look into the criminal background of the defendant if there is one. A good employment record and strong family ties can go a long way in influencing the judge’s ruling.
The arraignment and preliminary hearings may be just the first in a series of court dates to be assigned while a defendant is awaiting the main event. An agent from BWB Bail Bonds can guide his client through the process and will be available to answer any questions that may come up. Call BWB in Denver@ 720-358-2908.