If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Minnesota, you may wonder how bail works in the state. Bail is a payment made to the court to guarantee that a defendant will appear for their scheduled court date.
What Is Bail?
Bail is an amount in monetary terms decided by a court to ensure that a defendant will appear for their scheduled court date. If the defendant shows up to all court dates as required, the bail is returned at the end of the case. However, if the defendant does not appear in court, the bail is forfeited, and the defendant may be arrested.
How Does Bail Work in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, bail is set by a judge at a bail hearing. The judge will consider several factors when setting bail, including the severity of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and the likelihood that the defendant will flee if released.
If the defendant cannot pay all the bail money, they may be able to post a bail bond. A bail bond is a promise to pay the total bail amount if the defendant does not appear in court. A bail bondsman typically provides the bail bond and charges a fee for their services.
To obtain a bail bond, the defendant or their family must typically pay a percentage of the bail amount to the bail bond agent. In Minnesota, this fee is typically 10% of the bail amount. For example, if bail is $10,000, the defendant or their family must pay $1,000 to the bail bond agent.
Once the fee is paid, the bail bondsman will post the total bail amount with the court. The defendant will then be released from custody pending their court date.
If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bondsman will be responsible for paying the total bail amount. The bail bond agent may use a bounty hunter to locate the defendant and return them to court. If the defendant cannot be found, the bail bond agent may hire a lawyer to negotiate with the court and try to reduce or eliminate the bail amount.
Types of Bail in Minnesota
In Minnesota, a judge may set several types of bail. The most common types include:
- Cash bail: The defendant pays the total bail amount in cash or certified funds.
- Surety bond: The defendant or their family pays part of the bail amount to a bail bond agent, who pays the total amount to the court.
- Release on recognizance (ROR): The defendant is released from custody without having to post bail, but they must promise to appear at all court dates as required.
- Conditional release: The defendant is released from custody on the condition that they meet specific requirements, such as attending drug treatment or not contacting particular individuals.
Factors Considered When Setting Bail in Minnesota
When a judge sets bail in Minnesota, they will consider several factors, including:
- The severity of the offense: More severe offenses may require higher bail amounts.
- The defendant’s criminal history: If the defendant has a history of failing to appear in court or committing other crimes, the bail amount may be higher.
- The defendant’s ties to the community: If the defendant has strong ties to the community, such as a job or family, the bail amount may be lower.
- The likelihood that the defendant will flee: If the judge believes the defendant is a flight risk, the bail amount may be higher.
Challenging Bail in Minnesota
If you believe that the bail amount set by the judge is too high or unfair, you may be able to challenge it in court. This process is known as a bail hearing or a bail review.
You or your attorney must file a motion with the court to request a bail hearing. The motion should explain why you believe the bail amount is excessive or unfair and provide evidence to support your argument. The court will then schedule a hearing to consider your motion.
At the hearing, the judge will consider the same factors used to set bail initially and any new information or evidence presented by you or your attorney. The judge may then decide to reduce the bail amount, impose additional conditions on your release, or deny the motion altogether.
It’s important to note that challenging bail can be a complex and difficult process. Working with an experienced criminal law defense attorney who can help you navigate the system and advocate for your rights is essential.
What Should You Do Next?
If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Minnesota, it’s important to understand how the bail bond process works. Posting bail can be a complex and expensive process, but it’s important to remember that it’s an investment in your future.
By posting bail and showing up for all court dates, you can ensure that you have the best chance of a positive outcome in your case. I
If you have any questions or concerns about the bail bond process, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney in Minnesota. Contact CJB Law today to learn more.