How Does Bail Work in Virginia?

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The subject of bail can be a confusing one if you have never been arrested before. What is bail, how do you post bail, and what happens once you are released on bail?

After an arrest, a court magistrate will conduct a hearing to determine if the arrested party will be held in jail, released on bail, or released without bail. Bail is put in place to allow a defendant to be released from jail before trial. It serves as a financial guarantee that the accused will be present for their court proceedings. If they show up, bail is returned to the defendant in full; if they decide to flee before trial, the bail is kept and they likely won’t get bail again once found and arrested. Bail is different for each case - there is no set amount per offense or per person.

The Magistrate determines bail based on the following factors:

  • The circumstances or nature of the offense
  • Whether or not a gun was allegedly used to commit the offense
  • The evidence against the arrested
  • The financial resources of the arrested, i.e. do they have the means, or does their family have the means, to afford the bond?
  • The personal character of the arrested, including; family, employment, and education level
  • Length of residence within the community
  • Conviction record (or lack thereof)
  • Number of appearances at court proceedings (or lack thereof)
  • How many times the arrested has fled after being released on bail
  • Whether the person is likely to attempt to obstruct justice, or threaten, intimidate, or injure a potential witness
  • Any other relevant information available to aid in determining if bail is appropriate

If the magistrate decides to forego the option of release on bail, the arrested party must stay in jail until their appointed court date. The best way to ensure the arrested party will be released on bail is to hire a criminal defense attorney. In addition to negotiations with the court magistrate, a skilled attorney can also negotiate with a bail bondsman for quick release of the arrested party on bail.

Get in Contact with The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller for 24/7 Defense

At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, we know what it takes to get a defendant out of jail on bail. We also know that an arrest can be jarring not only for the arrested party, but for their family, which is why we aim to take as much worry out of the process as possible. Let us help you secure a bond for bail so you can spend you time at home rather than in jail.

Call our firm at (757) 267-4949 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.