After nearly 200 years, the most valuable bail bond law to date was instituted by the U.S. Congress in the form of the Bail Reform Act of 1966, which stated that a defendant facing trial for a non-capital offense should be released “on his personal recognizance” or a personal bond. However, if the court had reason to believe the defendant would leave town, the judge could choose a more restrictive alternative like limiting the defendant’s travel and executing an appearance bond to be refunded when the defendant appeared in court.
While individual states had their own rules, most of them added guidelines similar to the Bail Reform Act of 1966. At that time flaws in the act were also pointed out, for example, the defendant’s potential risk to the community for non-capital offenses. This became an issue when defendants released for non-capital offenses committed more crimes while they were out on bail. So a revision was made by The District of Columbia Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act of 1970, which enabled judges to consider the dangerousness to the community as well as the flight risk when setting bail for non-capital cases.
At a later time, the federal justice system added the “safety of the community” as a factor to be considered when imposing bail, and thus the Bail Reform Act of 1984 was passed. This newer version added guidelines stating that a person can be detained without bail if he or she:
- Poses a risk to the community.
- Intimidates jurors or witnesses, and obstructs justice while out on bail.
- Commits a violent crime, an offense carrying a death penalty or life in prison, or committing any felony while already having a serious criminal record.
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Noncitizens in immigration detention are eligible for immigration bonds. An immigration bond is a sum of money that they will receive back if they show up for all their court and other dates with the United States immigration authorities. The initial bond amount is set by the district director of the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The minimum amount is $1,500. The amount beyond the minimum depends on a variety of factors in the person’s case. For example, ICE considers the length of time the person has lived in the United States, any family ties in the U.S., employment history, criminal record, and any history of immigration violations.
When ICE sets the initial bond amount, your relative or friend can request in writing or orally that the amount is lowered or changed by an immigration judge. As some judges conduct bond hearings at the same time as the initial master calendar hearing, it is possible to file a “Motion for Bond Redetermination” and request a separate hearing during which the judge decides on the bond issue alone. Once the judge makes a final bond determination, the amount cannot change unless the circumstances related to the noncitizen’s detention change.
Note: Not everyone is eligible for an immigration bond in Stroudsburg, PA. Some noncitizens—mostly those with criminal records—are subject to mandatory detention and thus cannot get out on bond.
Take advantage of the 24/7 services of Always Available Bail Bonds LLC, assisting clients throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. Call 1-800-BAIL-OUT any time of night or day.
To continue our blog on lawful and unlawful arrests, for an arrest to be lawful the court or official body must have jurisdiction and the authority to arrest the person targeted by the warrant. The arresting officer is required to know the requirements of a valid warrant. If the warrant does not fulfill all of these specifications, the officer may be liable for a false arrest even though he or she did not prepare the warrant.
Also, there is no protection from false arrest if the arresting officer intentionally or recklessly leaves out information, or knowingly provides false information, to procure the warrant. In most cases, however, if the officer mistakenly leaves out or provides inaccurate information, the warrant is still valid.
What Is a Warrantless Arrest?
If all of the known facts at the time of the arrest lead a “reasonably prudent” person to believe that the person arrested had committed a felony, the law enforcement officer can make an arrest without a warrant. Even if a criminal trial later proves the person innocent, this does not mean the officer lacked probable cause. Law enforcement officials can also make warrantless arrests of anyone that is potentially guilty of breach of the peace. This arrest is considered lawful whether the breach of the peace is a felony or misdemeanor and regardless of whether all of the people arrested were actually breaching the peace.
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A person who is being arrested must be informed that he or she is being arrested. However, when a law enforcement officer is making the arrest, a visible badge or uniform is sufficient to inform the person that he or she is being arrested. For an arrest to be lawful, a law enforcement officer must also tell the person arrested what they are being arrested for. If telling the person what they are being arrested for is too dangerous—or will lead to an escape—can the officer making the arrest skip this requirement. When a law enforcement officer is making an arrest under a warrant, the person arrested must be informed of the warrant and shown the warrant if they ask the arresting officer.
What Is a Warrant?
A warrant is issued by a legal process from the court or another official body for the arrest of a person. An arrest warrant is typically for criminal charges; it may also be used in relation to mental health or guardianship issues. When the warrant is deemed “valid,” the person making the arrest cannot be sued in civil court for false arrest. A valid warrant must include:
- The name of the court or other official issuing entity.
- The arrested person’s name or description.
- The offense or reason for the arrest.
- Additional criminal procedure requirements to make a warrant valid depend on the jurisdiction.
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The first and least useful misconception about bail bondsmen is that they are disreputable. The truth is that most bail bondsmen are hardworking individuals who are motivated by helping families get by during a tremendously difficult time. Also, the best bondsmen are extremely knowledgeable about laws as they pertain to many kinds of cases, as well as about local law enforcement agencies and the area’s court system. Some of the most common myths or misconceptions about bail bonds, in general, include all of the following:
You Can Only Pay Bail Bondsmen in Cash
While cash is certainly acceptable, other options are available for you to pay bail bond companies. At Always Available Bail Bonds LLC, payments for bail bonds in West Chester, PA, and nearby can be made by credit card quickly over the phone.
Bail Amounts Are Negotiable
Bail amounts set by the court are not negotiable. A bail bondsman can help get you to get out of jail, but the bail amounts depend on what the charges are, whether the accused has a previous criminal record, and the probability that the defendant will show up in court. The judge is the only person who can adjust the amount of bail.
Individuals Can Only be Bailed Out by Family Members
Anyone older than 18 or can bail someone else out of jail. However, if you have posted a bond for someone else and the person fails to appear for court, you will lose your bond, and it will be forfeited.
Even if you are in police custody, you still have rights. In police custody, however, you must remain absolutely silent for the entire questioning period if you want to invoke this right without specifically stating it. It’s much safer to specifically state, “I want to invoke my right to remain silent.”
It’s a fact that the police are under no obligation to ask you if you are invoking your right or to clarify that you have invoked this right. That’s why you need to be aware of your rights and specifically state that you do not want to talk to the police or that you won’t answer any questions. Then, be sure to remain silent if the police continue to question you.
Speaking after you have invoked your right to remain silent means that the court may find that you waived your right to silence simply by speaking. When you invoke your right immediately, it is easier to avoid accidentally saying something that you did not mean.
You want to be sure to know how to assert your right to remain silent. Once you know how to be as clear as possible, there will be no question that you are asserting your right to remain silent. Use clear language and speak with authority while using one of the following phrases:
- I do not want to talk to you. I want to speak with an attorney.
- I am invoking my right to remain silent.
- I refuse to speak with you.
- I am claiming my Miranda rights.
- I am choosing to remain silent.
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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.
Contact Always Available Bail Bonds LLC at 1-800-BAIL-OUT when you or someone in your life needs to know about bail bonds in Allentown, PA, or throughout Eastern Pennsylvania.
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.
Rely on an experienced company like Always Available Bail Bonds LLC for affordable bail bonds in West Chester, PA, when you or a loved one needs help. Our service areas include all of Eastern Pennsylvania.
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.
For swift and affordable bail bonds in Scranton, PA, and the surrounding areas, call Always Available Bail Bonds LLC at 1-800-BAIL-OUT.