If the defendant remains in jail pending trial, the defendant is behind the eight ball. Tha’s especially true regarding assault trials. These proceedings have many moving parts. Unless the defendant is free pending trial, some defensive options are probably unavailable.
Neither side should have a significant advantage or disadvantage during criminal matters. So, the Eighth Amendment guarantees reasonable bail in criminal cases.
That being said, McLeod County prosecutors have a number of natural advantages in assault cases. Prosecutors have a small army of investigators and other professionals at their fingertips. Moreover, they have almost unlimited financial resources. Finally, during a trial, the state has the first word and the last word.
Experienced professionals in Hutchinson, MN Law firms have the skills to overcome these advantages and level the playing field. But first things first. Jail release is the number one priority for both defendants and defense attorneys. And, there are a number of ways jail release could happen.
Assault Arrest Procedures in McLeod County
Most area law enforcement agencies have mandatory arrest policies. If officers respond to an assault call, someone immediately goes to jail. The officer’s call as to who started the fight is only a preliminary determination. It is not binding in court. But that fact may not prevent the defendant from being booked and held overnight.
Furthermore, family violence assault cases often involve protective orders. In fact, many departmental policies require officers to give the alleged victim protective order information. An assault arrest is just an accusation. But a protective order, even an ex parte order, is a judicial determination that the defendant assaulted the alleged victim. That determination could thow a very large monkey wrench in a family law proceeding.
Note that, in almost all situations, the officers did not witness the assault. Without personal knowledge, they cannot testify in court. As a result, many assault cases have proof problems. Hutchinson, MN law firms may be able to use these problems to reduce bail, as outlined below.
Hutchinson, MN Law Firms and Immediate Jail Release
Before we get to bail reconsideration, there is the matter of initial jail release. McLeod County offers limited pretrial release. If the defendant is accused of a nonviolent crime, like drug possession, a review board often recommends OR (Own Recognizance) release. The defendant promises to appear in court, and the sheriff opens the cell doors.
Since it is a violent crime, OR release is often not available in assault cases. A Hutchinson, MN law firm’s intervention may change that outcome, but it is not too likely.
So, in assault cases, immediate pretrial release usually means cash bail or a bail bond. The sheriff usually sets a presumptive bail amount based on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal record. Based on that amount, the defendant may opt for:
- Cash Bail: Misdemeanor assault bail amount is usually less than $1,000. If the defendant posts that amount in cash and fulfills all bond conditions, the defendant gets most of that money back when the case is resolved. The obvious issue here is that, to most people, a few hundred dollars might as well be a few million.
- Bail Bond: A criminal bail bond is like an insurance policy. A bonding company posts a surety bond and assumes the financial risk. If the defendant’s bail is revoked, the company, and not the individual, is liable for payment. Most bonding companies charge a 10 or 15 percent premium.
If the defendant has already partnered with a Hutchinson, MN law firm, initial release is usually easier to arrange, especially in misdemeanors.
If the defendant cannot afford bail, or if the judge did not set bail, this issue usually comes up during the arraignment. By law, this hearing must usually occur within about seventy-two hours of arrest.
Part of the arraignment, reading the charges, is often a formality. In fact, many Hutchinson, MN law firms waive reading of the charging documents. But that’s not always the case. Legally, police officers need not inform defendants of the charges against them. Sometimes, the arraignment is the first time the state puts these cards on the table.
Bail reconsideration may be an important element. As mentioned, many assualt cases have proof problems in court. Hutchinson, MN law firms can often leverage this lack of evidence into a lower bail amount. Alternatively, the prosecutor may agree to reduce bail if the defendant submits to additional conditions, like staying away from the alleged victim.
Connect with a Tenacious Attorney
Getting out of jail after an assault arrest is important, but not always easy. For a free consultation at a Hutchinson, MN law firm, contact Carlson & Jones, P.A. We routinely handle criminal law matters in McLeod County and nearby jurisdictions.