After being arrested, the judge can either grant bail, release the defendant on their own recognizance, or deny bail. If you are granted bail, contacting a bail bondsman is the fastest way to get home and prepare your case. However, the judge may place other conditions on your release in addition to requiring that you meet all the minimum requirements, including appearing before the judge at your follow-up hearing.
Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about conditions placed on a defendant out on bail.
What Are Common Conditions Set By Judges?
The type of conditions the judge will set is dependent upon several factors, including the severity of the crime and the defendant's criminal past. If the crime is minor and the bail amount is small, the judge may not include any conditions or only a few of the most common. These common conditions of bail include:
- To remain in the town, county, or state.
- To avoid communicating with the victim or any codefendants.
- To surrender their passport.
- To follow a curfew
- To only leave their house for work or other necessary appointments
- To seek lawful employment or enroll in school (if the defendant is unemployed or not in school)
- To wear an ankle bracelet
- To not commit any other crimes, own or handle a firearm, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs
The judge may also require the defendant obey any orders of protection in connection with the accuser or any other individuals.
What Are Some Less Common Conditions Set By Judges?
In cases when the crime is severe, the defendant has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, the defendant has a long criminal past or has skipped bail in the past, the judge may set more serious conditions. For example, the judge may order the defendant remain on house arrest until their trial. If the charges are related to drug and alcohol abuse, the judge may order the defendant to seek treatment.
What Happens If A Defendant Violates These Conditions?
Unfortunately, when a defendant is released on bail and there are conditions attached to their release, they might not realize that if they do not comply, they could face serious consequences. The defendant cannot plead ignorance or disagree with these conditions after they have signed the bail agreement.
It is up to the judge whether or not the defendant faces more serious consequences for failing to meet the conditions of their bail. For example, if the defendant is a first-time offender and the crime was minor, the judge might give the defendant a warning. This will allow them to continue remaining out of jail on bond. The judge may issue a warrant for the defendant's immediate arrest, which can impact their original bail agreement.
If the judge does allow the defendant to remain out on bail, they may include additional, more severe conditions to their original agreement. For example, the judge may order the defendant wear an ankle monitor, check in at the police department every night, or remain on house arrest.
Unfortunately, if the judge revokes bail, the defendant must return to jail immediately while they await trial. According to Lawyers.com, when a judge revokes bail, the defendant could face additional charges called failure to appear charges in addition to their original charges. This could mean even more jail time. Bail revocation will also impact the agreement the defendant or a cosigner made with their bail bondsman.
When a defendant signs a bail agreement, they also agree to any conditions placed on the bond by the court. Failing to meet these conditions can have a dramatic impact on the defendant's case and can result in additional jail time.