After an arrest in Missouri, a bail hearing will generally be held to determine if and how much bail should be required before the defendant can be released. Bail is supposed to give a financial motivation for the individual to show up to court and not flee the state. However, bail also favors those with more money who are able to put up property or a bail bond, leaving those with lower incomes to sit in jail until trial.
As of July 1st, the Missouri Supreme Court issued new bail rules to reduce and eliminate bail requirements unless necessary. This will allow those charged with minor offenses and non-violent crimes to be released pending court hearings.
Bond and Bail in Missouri
The primary purpose of bond or bail in Missouri is to make sure the suspect will show up to court. If the suspect fails to appear in court, law enforcement and sheriff's officers may be required to search for the suspect and put out a warrant for that person's arrest.
The simplest way to get out of jail after an arrest is on a recognizance bond. This is essentially a promise by the defendant that he or she will show up for all court hearings and no money or property needs to be put up to ensure compliance.
A cash bond is money held by the court as a monetary condition for returning to court hearings. If the individual shows up for court hearings, then the money will later be returned. A bail bond generally involves going through a bail bond agent. The bail bond agent takes a 10% payment in exchange for guaranteeing the entire bond amount.
Missouri Reducing Bail for Non-Violent Defendants
According to Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Zel M. Fischer, judges have to start with considering non-monetary conditions for release. Non-monetary conditions for release may include:
- GPS tracking devices,
- Alcohol monitors,
- Reporting requirements,
- Handing over a driver's license, and
- Travel restrictions.
Judges must also consider ways to minimize or waive the costs of conditional release. Monetary conditions (bond or bail) may be imposed if necessary and to the extent necessary to ensure community safety and the defendant's appearance.
Only after the court determines that by clear and convincing evidence, that no combination of monetary and non-monetary conditions will ensure the safety of the community, then the court may order a defendant's pretrial detention.
Factors in Considering Bail Amount
According to the Missouri Supreme Court Rules 37.15(d), factors in determining the conditions for release to assure the defendant's appearance include:
- Nature and circumstances of the violation;
- Weight of the evidence against the accused;
- Accused's family ties, employment, financial resources, character, and mental condition;
- Length of the accused's residence in the community;
- The accused's record of convictions; and
- The accused's record of appearance at court proceedings, flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at court proceedings.
Raymore Criminal Defense Attorney
If you were arrested in Cass County, Missouri, the immediate benefits of an experienced criminal defense attorney can include eliminating or reducing bail and securing release from jail to await any court hearings. If you have questions about fighting a criminal conviction in Missouri to avoid jail, fines, and a criminal record, contact the Joshua Wilson Law Firm today by calling (816) 331-9968 or fill out our online form.
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