Virginia witnesses a substantial number of offenses, totaling over 147,000 crimes a year. Although this state’s crime rate is lower than the national median, the number is still quite significant, leading to numerous arrests by law enforcement teams. When people are arrested, they can seek bail to secure release from pre-trial detention. Since a majority of the offenses are bailable, most defendants can opt for this solution to return home as they wait for trial. Bail bonds in Richmond, VA, can offer a convenient and affordable solution for alleged offenders who want to secure release from jail. But how does the process work, and how is bail set in this state? Let’s break down everything you need to know about the bail-setting process in Virginia.
Bail Process in Virginia: An Overview
When a person gets arrested, the police take the alleged offender to the local jail for booking. Soon after the arrest, a bail hearing occurs, where a Judge or Magistrate evaluates the case and determines whether or not the person should get bail.
Bail allows the person to get released from pre-trial detention on personal recognizance or a secured or unsecured bond. In case of recognizance, the person can provide a written assurance stating they will attend all Court hearings. However, secured and unsecured bonds require a monetary guarantee to ensure adherence. Typically, the bail amounts in Virginia lie in the following range:
- Misdemeanors: $500-$5000
- Property/drug felonies: $2500-$10000
- Serious felonies- $25000-$50000
A defendant can seek help from a Richmond, VA bail bondsman to underwrite a surety bond on their behalf if they cannot afford to post bail.
How Do the Authorities Set Bail in Virginia?
Chapter 9 of the Code of Virginia highlights the guidelines for setting bail. It recommends that judicial officers should consider the following factors while deciding whether a person should get bail:
- Nature of the alleged offense and the circumstance in which it took place.
- The use of firearms in committing the alleged crime.
- The significance of the available evidence.
- The track record of the alleged offender like the person’s employment, family, education, substance abuse, etc.
- Ties to the local community in Virginia.
- Criminal and conviction records.
- Records of missing Court hearings or skipping bail.
- Chances of the person trying to obstruct justice by harming potential witnesses, victims, jurors, or family members.
These considerations allow the Magistrate to assess the situation before approving bail. Typically, most defendants get bail unless the Magistrate feels there is probable cause to suspect that:
- The alleged offender will not show up for Court hearings or attend case-related proceedings as directed by the authorities.
- The alleged offender may cause harm to himself or the public if he gets released from jail.
However, these conditions are inadequate to ensure bail if the alleged offender is charged with serious crimes under Section 19.2-120(B). In these cases, the burden of proof lies with the defendant to make a case for pre-trial release.
If you need help posting bail, you can hire a bail bond agent to facilitate a surety bond on your behalf. Search for a “bail bondsman near me” and get in touch with the Amistad team to streamline the bail bonding process in Virginia!