What is a Bond Hearing?
A bond hearing is a quick hearing held with a Judge, a Prisoner, and sometimes a Defense Attorney and Prosecutor, where the Judge will determine whether the accused can be released “on bond” pending his trial. If the Judge sets a secured bond, that means he will determine an amount of money to be paid into the court which will guarantee the Defendant’s return to court for trial. Being released on bond just means that you will pay someone (like a Virginia Bail Bondsman) to post money on your behalf. After your trial, the bond money is returned to the bondsman. But if you don’t show up for trial, the bondsman would have to forfeit the bond until or unless he can find you, arrest you, and return you to court.
Will My Friend or Family Member Get Out on Bond?
Whether an incarcerated person will get a secure bond set depends mainly on three factors:
1. The seriousness of the charges against him (not whether he is guilty or innocent, just how serious the charge is).
2. How much of a “flight” risk he is (how likely is he to not return to court on his court date).
3. How much of a danger to the community he is (the Judge will consider criminal history and any history or allegations of violence).
Notice that the Judge will NOT consider whether the incarcerated person is innocent or guilty of the charges. That is to be determined at a trial. The Judge will not accept evidence or testimony about innocence or guilt at a bond hearing. The best way to analyze how likely it is that someone will be released on bond is to talk to an Attorney who practices in your area. If your loved one is incarcerated in Hampton Roads, feel free to Contact Us.
How Soon Can Bond Be Set?
This varies by court. Different courts throughout Hampton Roads have different procedures for noticing and setting bond hearings. Additionally, if a Commonwealth’s Attorney (Prosecutor) is involved in the case, the bond hearing must be coordinated with that office as well. Typically after arrest, the person’s first hearing will be an “Arraignment”. Whether the Judge will be willing hold a bond hearing at the Arraignment varies by jurisdiction and sometimes by judge. In most cases, a bond hearing can be held within about 1 – 4 business (court) days from the time your Defense Attorney makes a motion for Bond. We can never guarantee that the bond hearing will occur within a specific time frame, because when the hearing occurs is outside of our control as it depends on the Court schedule and the Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ schedules as well.
How Much Does an Attorney for a Bond Hearing Cost?
The cost for a bond hearing varies based on many factors, and I can quote a firm flat-fee price by talking to you by phone and getting the details of the situation. In some cases, a bond hearing may not cost extra if you hire our firm to represent you on your criminal charges. We accept credit and debit cards, and attempt to schedule bond hearings as quickly as the Court and Commonwealth schedules will allow. Contact our office if you’d like us to make a motion for bond.