Points in your favorAs appropriate under the facts, your criminal defense attorney will explain your employment history: job position, responsibilities, duration of the employment, your family’s need for the income and health benefits, and the likelihood that you will lose the job if you are imprisoned for any length of time. Your defense attorney may also tell the court about your present family ties. This is not a plea for sympathy. Rather, your attorney should portray your family members as a web of support and responsibilities that ensure you will return to court. Your attorney should inform the court about your monthly rent or mortgage and explain that, should you be incarcerated or fail to return to court, your family might become homeless. Also, your attorney should let the court know if your siblings or parents live nearby and see you often. If they have the means and the inclination to post cash bail or sign a property bond, your attorney should explain to the court that they are willing to stake their financial futures on your release. If the charges against you are serious, bailing you out can be a challenge for even the best criminal defense attorney. Your attorney may need to describe defenses and mitigating factors about the offense. If the charging document or the reports the prosecution has disclosed provide support for your release, then your attorney should emphasize the points in your favor. For example, the prosecution may be relying on inadmissible evidence, or the alleged victim may be a domestic partner who has made spurious allegations against you in the past.
Dealing with a past failure to appearThe bail hearing will be particularly challenging for your criminal defense lawyer if you have previously failed to appear, either on the present charge or a prior one. If you eventually showed-up of your own volition, then you have demonstrated some reliability and willingness to meet your obligations. However, if only a new arrest brought you to court, your lawyer’s task will be an uphill battle. Your criminal defense lawyer will want to explore whether there is some plausible explanation for your nonappearance:
- Did you move and fail to receive a court notice?
- Did your lawyer at the time fail to inform you of the court date?