There’s a general process that’s followed for those who are able to post bail or a bail bond and secure their release from jail on certain limited charges, and one of the most vital parts of this process comes after the actual release: Appearance in court. A promise to appear for this scheduled court date will always be part of the bail agreement that’s created when someone posts, and failure to do so will result in a warrant for your arrest.
At Beehive Bail Bonds, not only are we here to offer 24/7 bail bond services to a variety of Utah clients, but we’re also happy to provide some tips on how to prepare for this all-important court date. By helping our clients understand what they’ll need to be ready for, we help soothe any fears and reduce the chance of failure to appear — which would be extremely harmful to you and not ideal for us, either. Here are some general tips we can recommend to you for your court hearing following a bail bond release to help best position you to avoid major future consequences and get back to a more normal life.
If you’re lucky enough to have the financial capability to hire a lawyer who is not a public defender, you’ll want to choose one who is able to be present with you at court. That’s because your lawyer will offer the best advice on how to approach certain things and can often manage anything that comes up during the case, such as negotiations or arrangements with a prosecutor.
Your attorney may also have a better sense of what permissions the judge may give based on his or her experience, and whether the outcome may be positive or negative.
Now, we should be clear: While a private attorney is usually your best option if you have the money, public defenders tend to get a bad rap. They offer useful, valuable services that you should never turn down, and they will fight for you, even if their own chances of success aren’t incredibly high.
No matter who your attorney is, it’s important to keep communication open. If you’re worried about something, make sure to ask questions. This will help you understand what’s really happening with your case and may allow your lawyer to offer better advice or solutions.
One area where your attorney may assist you, but where you’ll also want to be creating your own personal checklist, is within the preparation of any necessary documentation. Paperwork and documents required at your court hearing can vary widely depending on your specific situation, from your written statement or confession to any police reports, photos, and so on.
You should ask your lawyer for a list of all necessary documents and obtain them as soon as possible before appearing in court following bail bond release. If you’re not able to obtain these by the time of your hearing date, just let your attorney know beforehand that they’re not available. That way, you can be prepared for a delay and possibly a rescheduling of your case if necessary.
The documentation requirements may even vary depending on the day of the week or time of your court appearance, so don’t assume that what’s needed will stay the same just because it was requested recently. Get everything together as soon as possible, in case you need to submit it at the last minute.
One of the silliest and most avoidable mistakes you can make during a court appearance is being late. Being late shows disrespect to the court and the judge, even if you have a good excuse.
If you have to take public transit, build in plenty of extra time for travel. Also ensure your lawyer can be present at the agreed-upon time; if your attorney is late or can’t make it, this might be the difference between being seen and rescheduled.
And in cases where you’re extremely late, such as by an hour or more, you’re actually risking being deemed a no-show and having a warrant issued for your arrest. It’s simply not worth the risk of being late, so plan your day around arriving on-time.
From the moment you enter the courtroom, you’ll want to demonstrate respect and honesty. Be on your best behavior, speak politely to others, dress neatly – do everything you can to show the judge that you’re responsible and mature enough not to make a scene.
This is a time where showing respect will go far in earning the judge’s favor, so even if you’ve been arrested and charged with something you don’t believe should be a crime, you still need to treat them as though they’re an authority figure who deserves your respect. Judges will absolutely levy additional penalties to certain behaviors during your court appearance.
Of course, it’s also imperative that you’re honest and upfront with the judge if you’ve violated bail bond conditions or failed to appear in court. He or she may offer leniency depending on the circumstances and evidence presented, but further penalties will need to be levied either way – so honesty is always your best policy.
For more basic tips on how to position yourself for success when preparing for an upcoming court hearing following bail bond posting, or to learn about any of our bail bond services or even the defense attorneys we’d recommend to assist you with your case, speak to the staff at Beehive Bail Bonds today.