Once your bond amount and type of bond has been determined by the judge or magistrate at your arraignment, the court will also give you a list of pretrial conditions or terms of your bond that must be strictly followed or else you risk getting your bond revoked.
Pretrial Release and Bond Conditions
Whether charged with a misdemeanor or felony, most courts will impose standard bond conditions during your pretrial release. Depending upon the specific case and type of charge, the court may set some additional bond conditions specifically tailored towards your case. Here are a list of some of the most typical bond terms you can expect:
- Attend all court dates and court-mandated activities
- Don’t use drugs or alcohol or any prescription medicine without a doctor’s approval
- Don’t leave the state without the court’s permission
- Reported to pretrial services as directed
- Random or scheduled drug or alcohol testing (often for drug or alcohol-related cases or cases that allege the use of drugs or alcohol)
- Notify the court of any changes in your address or telephone number
- Do not possess weapons
- Maintain a curfew (usually for minors or young adults)
- Tether or GPS monitoring device (some judges will require as a condition before you can be released, especially for serious or violent felonies)
- No-contact orders (defendant will be ordered not to have contact with victims, especially in violent cases such as assault and battery, domestic violence)
Again, this is just a general overview of some of the most common bond and pretrial release conditions. Your case may not include all of these or the judge may impose some others depending on the specific facts of your case.
What Factors Does the Court Consider in Determining Your Bond
- The seriousness of the offense
- Ties to the community (family, children, job)
- How long has the defendant lived at his current residence
- Has the defendant ever failed to appear in court before
- Defendant’s finances
- The likelihood that defendant will comply with the terms of his release
- Substance abuse
- Mental health
- Reputation for Danger
- Probability of conviction and likely sentence
Do I Need a Bail Bondsman?
There are pros and cons of using a bail bondsman. The pro is that they can get you out quicker and usually for a lower amount that what you would have to post through the court. Using a bail bondsman is ideal if you cannot post the bond amount yourself. The con is that you do not get that money back, even if your case is dismissed or you are found not guilty. If you post bond through the court, that money will be applied towards your fines and court costs if convicted. That way it is not really “wasted” in the same sense as posting through a bondsman. Also, if you win your case, you will get 90% of the money you posted back from the court.
Do I Need an Attorney at Arraignment?
It is always a good idea to have an attorney represent you at arraignment, especially if charged with a felony. An experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney knows the factors to argue before the judge or magistrate to get a reasonable bond amount set or a PR bond and reasonable bond conditions. Your attorney may be able to get your arraignment waived if facing misdemeanor charges. This can be helpful as often when you appear for an open arraignment on OWI or marijuana charges the court may impose additional conditions such as drug or alcohol testing.
Arraignment is a critical stage because you only get one initial chance to argue for bond. Otherwise, your attorney will have to file motions for a bond reductions or condition modifications which takes time and may not be granted. Contact Austin Legal Services, PLC to speak to a Michigan pretrial release and arraignment attorney at (517) 614-1983 today!
Defending felony and misdemeanor criminal charges throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Gratiot, Livingston, Jackson, Kent, Calhoun in the cites of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, St. Johns, Charlotte, Brighton, Howell, Jackson, Grand Rapids, Ithaca, Battle Creek.