Most people realize that they have the right to remain silent even if they have never been involved in a criminal situation, but do you know what it really means and when it can be used? Everyone that lives in the United States should have a clear understanding of the importance of this basic right. This right is one of the many constitutional rights you have in the criminal process.
If you have been arrested, you must immediately invoke your right to remain silent, which means that all police questioning must stop. If you continue to be questioned by the police after you’ve clearly invoked your right to stay silent, it’s a violation of your Miranda rights. If your Miranda rights are not invoked, any subsequent statements you make may not be used against you in court. However, you must have specifically stated that you are invoking your right to silence.
Miranda Rights are named for the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. Used in the United States, the Miranda warning is a type of notification customarily given by police to criminal suspects in police custody advising them of their right to silence. In other words, those in custody have a right to refuse to answer questions or provide information to law enforcement or other officials.
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If you or someone in your life has been arrested, you want to know and understand the difference between bail and bond. After someone has been arrested for a crime, that person may have to pay what is known as “bail” to stay out of jail. A judge may set the entire amount of the bail before the person can be released from jail to await his or her court date. There are some instances in which the amount set for bail is too high for an individual to pay, and a bondsman is needed.
Bail is the amount of money it takes to get you or a loved one out of jail until the court date. A bail bond, however, is when a bondsman is paid to guarantee the full bail amount to the court, but you are only required to pay a percentage of the entire bail to the bondsman.
If you or the arrested person appears in court as required, the set bond amount that was posted is returned to the bail bond company or bondsman, and any collateral is safe from collection. In the event you decided to pay the entire bail amount directly to the court, you get it all back after court fees have been subtracted.
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You may not find much glamor in being a bail bondsman, but it can be a fulfilling, lucrative, and interesting position for the right person. Bail bondsmen are essential players in the criminal justice system because they assist law enforcement, and help criminals get their lives back on track. While this line of work can be dangerous, there are also a number of benefits including all of the following:
- Flexible Schedule: As a bail-bond agent you can work as much or as little as you want. Bail bondsmen control what days and hours they work, whether full-time or part-time.
- Good Income: Without working full-time hours and days you may be able to draw full-time income if you write several bonds each month.
- Opportunity for Self-Employment: Once you’ve learned the business you have the option to start your own bond company. You will then be able to control all of the daily operations, including choosing the bonds you want or don’t want to write.
- Job Security: The bond business is always necessary despite recessions. In fact, an economic downturn corresponds with a higher crime rate, so the bail bond agent always has job security.
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It will help your level of stress when you know what to expect from your bail hearing. A bail hearing typically takes place for a judge to determine whether or not the arrested person is likely to run, and miss future court appearances and a trial. The purpose of a bail hearing is to set the exact amount of the bail that is required if bail is granted. The defendant can present evidence but the decision about bail is ultimately made by the court.
There are a number of different scenarios that can occur when it comes to a bail hearing, if the judge decides to release a person on bail, he or she is likely to believe that the arrested person won’t be a flight risk. The following are some of the details that may occur if you or a loved one does make bail:
- The judge may require you to stay in a specific place or at a specific address.
- You may be required to stay in contact with the police.
- The judge may require you to stay away from witnesses involved in your case.
Chances are you will not be eligible for bail is any of the following is true:
- You’ve missed court in the past.
- You were arrested while you were already out on bail.
- You committed a violent crime.
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To continue with our discussion on “Choosing a Public Defender,” you should know that a public defender is not able to give you or your loved one the kind of time that would be available to you with a private lawyer. Public defenders are known to handle their clients in a fast-paced manner. There is also the matter of convenience. If you are being represented by a public defender, you may have to wait a long time before your case is heard. Private attorneys tend to receive priority in some courtrooms and can have their clients moved through at a convenient pace.
The public defender you work with should know all the standard offers given by the “People” in their assigned courtroom after the first month on the job. However, they are not always able to get the experience they need in a timely manner. So, keep in mind that making special deals, outside the “standard offer” for clients, is a function of time, experience, and skill.
A public defender does represent clients in trials. Private attorneys have fewer trials because they get cases with highly motivated clients because of the large expense of a trial. Also, before taking a case to trial, private attorneys take the time to go over the risks and benefits of a trial. Public Defenders are paid a fixed salary based on a grade set by the county. If you can’t afford an experienced and skilled private attorney, working with a public defender makes much more sense than going on your own.
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If you or a loved one has been arrested, you may be wondering if you should choose a public defender or a private lawyer. Of course, if you are short on money or in a difficult financial situation hiring a public defender is the best choice for you. Keep in mind that the public defender is a licensed attorney. As in any group of professionals, some have more experience than others. Typically the younger less experienced public defenders are assigned to misdemeanor courts, and the more experienced go on to handle felony cases.
When you go with a public defender, you aren’t able to select your own attorney, because your lawyer will be assigned by the Office of the Public Defender. You get the next public defender on the calendar. However, in some felony cases, a specially assigned public defender handles the matter after the arraignment. Or, in some cases, there may be a technical issue of a conflict which means the Public Defender’s Office cannot take a client.
In general, public defenders have to take all the qualified individuals who request their services. So, that is why they generally have very large caseloads, which means they may not be able to delegate the amount of time you feel you deserve. The fact of their having so many cases is the one area that causes the most complaints.
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No one ever intends to end up in jail. However, if you or a loved one has been arrested and is sitting in a jail cell in Pennsylvania, the first person you should call is a bail bondsman from Always Available Bail Bonds LLC. We cover bail bonds in Allentown, PA, and throughout the state for defendants who have been charged with many different kinds of crimes.
If you don’t have the finances to post bail bonds, a bondsman can post surety for you. In most cases, all you have to do is pay 10% of the total bond amount. You don’t want to put yourself or your family through the stress of having to come up with the entire amount of the bond. When you work with a bail bondsman, you don’t have to worry about that. Calling a bail bondsman ensures that you have someone on your side that knows the process and is accustomed to working with different kinds of circumstances.
Also, bail bondsmen help families and friends locate the defendant if he or she should get arrested. They let loved ones know about the situation such as the arrested person’s whereabouts, how much the bail bond is, and when the court date is. A professional and reputable bail bondsman also strives to reduce the jail-holding time and to get the process moving as quickly as possible.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Pennsylvania, you may be given the opportunity to post bail and return home until your court date. If, however, your bail is set above your financial means, you’ll need services for bail bonds in Allentown, PA, and all of the surrounding areas. Rely on the full-service bail bond company, Always Available Bail Bonds LLC, to post bail for you. Be careful not to make the following mistakes when you are working with a bail bond service:
Providing the Wrong Address: If you are in-between addresses, don’t write down a false address or give them a friend’s address because every piece of information you give the bail bondsman must be 100% accurate.
Leaving Town before the Court Date: You may intend to make it back in time for your court date, but taking a vacation sends up a red flag that you may be a flight risk, which could lead your bail bondsman to cancel your bail bond with no refund.
Getting Arrested Again : If your bail bonds agent doesn’t trust you, your bail might be revoked. When you are out on bail secured by hiring a bail bond service, you don’t want to mess things up.
Skipping Bail: You must appear at your court hearing, or you will accrue further fees and penalties on your bail bond, and there will also be a warrant out for your arrest.
Failure to Meet Payments: Make sure you understand the deadlines on the contract between you and your bail bond agency to receive the funds you need. Note when the money must be paid back as well as what the penalties are for missing a payment.
Your freedom is your number one concern if you have been arrested for a crime. The lawyer you choose to represent you is how you plan to protect yourself against criminal charges. He or she is your legal protector and your voice before the judge and jury. You are completely dependent on your legal representative to identify any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you, to build an effective defense plan on your behalf, to skillfully present your arguments before the court, and to fight for the protection of your rights. You only want a seasoned legal professional to represent you in a criminal case. When you want to hire a legal professional who has the right qualifications, be sure you take note of the following tips:
- Ascertain that the lawyer has extensive criminal law experience.
- Check to see if the attorney has a strong track record of success in winning major criminal cases.
- Find out if he or she is a hands-on defense lawyer who is committed to working with you directly and maintaining a strong client relationship with you. You should be able to tell a lot just by how the attorney interacts with you in your initial consultation.
- Be sure to read online reviews about the lawyer and see what other clients had to say about the attorney’s services.
- When you meet with the attorney ask questions, find out how the lawyer plans to help you, ask about his or her charges for legal services, and get a general vibe of the lawyer’s personality.
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If you or someone you love has been arrested and is being held on bond, it means that a written promise has been signed by the defendant and surety to ensure that the defendant appears in court at the scheduled time and date. The court sets the amount of the bail, which is an amount of money in cash, property, or surety bond to make sure that a person attends all required court appearances. Being held on bond enables the arrested person (defendant) to be released from jail until his or her case is completed.
A person who has been arrested for a crime and booked into jail must go before a judge who decides the terms and conditions of that particular person’s bail order. There are certain circumstances in which bail is denied. Those cases are most likely to occur if the arrested person is considered a threat to the public. If bail is denied, the defendant cannot be released before the trial and is “remanded” into police custody.
If the defendant is granted a release from jail, a bond order has to be granted by the judge. That bond may be secured, which means that money or property is paid to secure the defendant’s release or unsecured, which is when you sign a document that says you will pay a certain amount of money if the defendant breaks his or her bond conditions.
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