Carl Barkemeyer wrote the book on How to Defend Drug Charges in Louisiana. Download your free copy to learn more about the criminal process and drug defenses in Louisiana.
A majority of drug cases are bondable in state court. However, in federal court, there is an assumption that drug-related cases are not bondable. In state court, the judge may deny a defendant bail for certain reasons. That's common anyways, as drug crimes are serious offenses, punishable by law. If a bond is accepted by the judge, he sets the bail amount within 72 hours in which the defendant is expected to pay. He can decide to hire a bail bondsman if he doesn't have enough funds for the bail. The bail bondsman gets a nonrefundable 10% of the bail amount, after which he helps the defendant pay the bail amount.
Let's break the entire process into details.
Let's say you have a drug case in court, and you are granted bail. However, you do not have enough funds to pay for the stipulated amount put forward by the judge. This is where a bail bond comes in.
What is a bail anyway? A bail is an amount of money, determined by a judge, to be paid by a convicted person, to obtain release from police custody or jail. As a part of your release, you have to guarantee that you will be in court for all your proceedings. The money paid is to assure the court that you will appear or show up on your next court date. If you show up, the bail amount is given back to you. In the case where you do not show up, you will be subject to re-arrest, and your bail will be forfeited.
There are conditions to be considered before bail is granted. They include:
Now, there are situations where people cannot be able to pay the stipulated amount of bail. This is where a bail bond comes in, offered by a bail bond agency or bondsman. Note, however, that the judge cannot give you a certain outrageous bail amount, to punish you for your drug case. It is only an amount to guarantee you will present at all your court proceedings. Yet, not everyone is able to pay the amount. A bail bond is required in this process.
A bail bond is a percentage of bail that the convicted person pays to the bondsman, so the bondsman can pay the remaining amount of bail money. In this way, the person can be released from police custody.
You need to bear in mind that every state and court has its own bail bond process, and it varies from place to place. Usually, the bail bond percentage is 10% to 15%, depending on the seriousness or gravity of the offense. You may pay a higher percentage if the case is too serious and complicated.
How do bond agencies get their funds? Most bond agencies and bondsman have signings and agreements with the local government. They may also have agreements with credit agencies and bank agencies. These are their sources of income and bail money.
After your bail bond has been granted, it takes about 6 to 8 hours for the convicted to be released.
Usually, when you are arrested, you need to get a criminal defense lawyer. You have access to one phone call after arrest, before being taken to custody or a police cell. If you have a lawyer, you should probably call the lawyer. You can also decide to call a trusted family member or friend, who can get you a very good lawyer.
Remaining in jail before all your court proceedings, away from your loved ones, can be such a challenging affair. This is why you need a criminal defense attorney to help you request for a bail. You should, however, note that bail is not certain. As earlier mentioned, your judge can decide to grant you bail or not. If you are denied, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Denials usually come if your case is a very critical one.
Your bail agency or bondsman must be qualified and licensed. Your family member or friend who got you the bondsman should make sure of that; such a person is called an indemnitor. They speak to the bondsman or bail agency on your behalf all the time. Now, the bondsman and Indemnitor are responsible and held accountable for all your court proceedings and appearances after you've gotten a bail bond.
The bail bond process does not usually take a lot of time; it could take about 45 minutes, or up to an hour. During that time, you are to provide some details to help the bondsman; details such as your name, date of birth, state or county you are being detained in, offense, and the rest of them. The bail bondsman then starts to prepare the necessary bond forms, which you will fill out. Filling out the bond paperwork and documentation does not really take time. A collateral can be used to assure the bail bondsman, that you will appear for your proceedings.
The job of the bondsman is to make sure you are present at your next court date. If you do not appear for your next court date, or all of your court proceedings, the bail amount is now up to the bail bondsman to pay. This alone is enough reason to find you and re-arrest you.
Whatever you do, abide by this rule below:
This should be on top of your list immediately you are caught by the Police. When you talk to the officers, you may end up saying incriminating things. You may end up saying words that show that you are guilty. As much as you can, you want it seem like you didn't know that the drugs existed. You want to act like you were framed. Try not to act like you are guilty. If you can, act like you are shocked. This will work in your advantage. If you must talk, deny existence of the drugs. Don't say anything else about the drugs. The police officer may want you to say other things, in a bid to incriminate you. The officer may try to provoke you to say words that you will regret saying. No matter the psychological tricks they try to play on you, keep mute. It helps your chances.
Well, you need to abide by all the rules and make sure you are available at all your court proceedings, to prevent extra charges. Also, you should never try to bribe the officer, in a bid that he can convince the judge to grant you bail. No! That won't work.
In all, keep your composure and divulge any information to your criminal defense attorney. As a criminal defense attorney in Baton Rouge, I can help in this regard, by getting you a certified and qualified bondsman.
If you have a drug charge and need a drug crime defense attorney in Louisiana, contact us at (225) 964-6720. We handle drug charges anywhere in Louisiana.
H. Taylor - Baton Rouge, Louisiana