In most cases, after people are arrested in Ramsey County, prompt and quiet jail release is available. That’s a very good thing for very many reasons. For example, most people assume that incarcerated defendants have done something wrong. A St. Paul, MN criminal lawyer can usually prevent the jury from hearing this fact, but no one can stop anyone else from reading the paper.
That misconception about wrongdoing is just one reason the Eighth Amendment guarantees reasonable bail in criminal cases. Sometimes, that presumption of wrongdoing is too much even for the presumption of innocence to overcome. Therefore, without prompt jail release, the presumption of innocence rings rather hollow in many cases.
First-time offenders charged with nonviolent misdemeanors are often eligible for OR (Own Recognizance) release. OR release essentially transforms the arrest into a traffic citation. If the defendant promises to appear at trial and meet other conditions, the Sherriff releases the defendant.
These additional conditions are usually minimal. Typically, the defendant must agree to stay in the county until the case is resolved. Furthermore, the defendant must promise to appear at all required preliminary hearings. Some Ramsey COunty judges require defendants to appear at procedural hearings, and some do not.
There is no formal notice and hearing process. However, a St. Paul, MN criminal lawyer can usually be present as the review board looks at the defendant’s file. Often, the mere fact that the defendant has an attorney and is taking the case seriously is enough to favorably affect the ruling.
As a practical matter, misdemeanor drug possession and theft are about the only offenses eligible for pretrial release. So, most cases must go to the next level.
The Ramsey County Sherriff usually sets presumed bail amounts in most cases. That amount could be $750 for a misdemeanor and $1,500 for most felonies. The exact amount usually depends on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal record, if any.
If the defendant posts the entire amount in cash, the sheriff releases the defendant. Once the case is resolved, the defendant gets most of that money back, at least in most cases.
A bail bond might be a better option. For a 10 or 15 percent premium, a bonding company delivers a surety bond for the bail amount to the Sherrif. If the defendant does not show up for trial, the bonding company is responsible for the amount of the bail.
Both these types of release are conditional. In addition to appearing at trial, remaining in the county, and attending required preliminary hearings, most defendants must:
Ramsey County judges routinely impose other conditions as well based on the nature of the offense, such as an Ignition Interlock Requirement in DUI bail matters. Once the case is resolved, either via plea or trial, all these conditions go away.
Bail reduction hearings are quite common in serious felony cases. A bail bond premium could be several thousand dollars in these situations, and for many people, that amount might as well be several million dollars. Moreover, in many such cases, the Sherriff does not set bond at all.
Generally, bail reduction hearings occur during the arraignment. Frequently, until they are arraigned, defendants do not fully know the nature of the charges. Law enforcement officers are not legally required to give defendants such information.
For the bail reduction component of the arraignment, in addition to the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal record, judges consider some other factors as well, such as:
Frequently, a St. Paul, MN criminal lawyer reaches a pre-arraignment deal with the prosecutor on bond. For example, the prosecutor might agree to reduce the amount if the defendant agrees to additional conditions, such as electronic monitoring.
Jail release is often the first step toward a successful result. For a free consultation with an experienced St. Paul, MN criminal lawyer, contact Capitol City Law Group, LLC. Go online now, call us at (651) 998-7634, or stop by 287 6th St E, Suite 20, St Paul, MN 55101.