Pre-trial release agreements are almost similar to bail bonds. A pre-trial release has several benefits:
- Funded by taxpayers
- No one is financially responsible for the defendant after their release
- Can be used in violent, felony cases
What does pre-trial release mean?
A pre-trial release is a government organization that obtains the release of defendants from a local jail without requiring them to post a bond. The defendant does not have to commit any funds to be released, only a promise to appear in court.
Who pays for a pre-trial release?
Pre-trial release programs are funded by taxpayers and used to obtain the release of defendants charged with various crimes. Although similar to a commercial bail bond, the defendant doesn’t have to contribute to obtain their release.
When is a pre-trial release used?
Pre-trial release programs are used to obtain the release of individuals charged with both misdemeanors and felonies. In the past, they were used for criminals with minor charges, but now, even a violent offender can obtain one.
What happens after a defendant is released?
Defendants must promise to appear in court at their hearing. Some do not and eventually become fugitives.
Also Read: Consequences of Contempt of Court
Who is financially liable for the defendant after released?
No one is financially responsible for the defendant or to ensure that they appear in court.
Who finds defendants who fail to appear?
If a defendant fails to appear, local authorities are called upon to find and return them. They are not high on the list of priorities.
Does a pre-trial release penalize taxpayers?
Taxpayers are penalized first by having to pay for the defendant’s release, and secondly, for their return if they fail to appear.
What are pre-trail release conditions?
Rules or conditions of pre-trial release vary by state and even by county. Some pre-trail release programs focus only on general bond conditions to achieve certain objectives that include safety of the victim, protection from crime and ensuring defendant’s appearance in court. These conditions depend on the nature of the crime.
For assaultive offenses, pre-trail release conditions include not to travel to certain locations and not to contact the victim. For DWI charges, an ignition interlock device may be installed while the defendant is on pre-trail release. Some programs can be even more intensive wherein the defendant has to report weekly, submit a DNA sample, go through regular drug testing and counseling.
Also Read: Failure in Court Appearance- This is What Happens Next
Also Read: How to Post a Bail in Federal Court