Obtaining Bail After a Criminal Conviction
When a person has been arrested and accused of a crime they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. As such, they have a constitutional right to bail and for that bail to not be excessive. Most folks assume that once a person is convicted of the crime their right to bail is revoked. But that is not always the case. In this brief guide, the bail bond agents at Urban Bail Bonds look at the issue of post-conviction bail, who may be eligible, who may not be, and any other factors that influence eligibility.
Obtaining Bail After Being Convicted
Because a person has already been convicted of the crime they were accused of they have lost the presumption of innocence. As a result, the trial judge has wide-ranging discretion when deciding whether or not to allow the convicted individual to obtain bail while awaiting sentencing or during the appeal process.
Obtaining Release on Bail While Awaiting Sentencing
In most cases, sentencing happens immediately after conviction. But in some more serious cases, a sentence may not be passed down for weeks or even months after the conviction. In such circumstances, it is reasonable to assume the convicted individual would rather contact a bail bond company and be “free” while awaiting sentencing, rather than moldering in jail.
Being out on bail also provides the convicted time to gather things such as statements of support from employers or other community members with whom they had personal or professional relationships. These can go a long way toward mitigating the severity of the sentence that is ultimately passed down.
As we said earlier, however, there is no constitutional right to post-conviction 24-hour bail bonds so judges will consider myriad factors when weighing a request for bail while awaiting sentencing, including:
- Whether or not the convicted individual represents a flight risk.
- The convicted individual’s arrest history.
- Whether the convicted person has any significant ties to the community.
- Whether the convicted individual has any dependent children.
It’s important to remember that even if an individual who has been convicted of a crime can produce numerous testimonials from community members, has no prior arrest history, has several dependant children, and is not considered a flight risk, the judge may still refuse bail if they feel the crime was sufficiently serious to warrant holding them.
Bail After a DUI Conviction?
It took decades for driving under the influence to be recognized for the serious offense that it is. Now that laws finally reflect the gravity of the crime, judges are often hesitant to grant bail after a DUI conviction. However, many people convicted of DUIs have no prior criminal record, work steady jobs, and have families. So coming down hard on such an individual may not be in the best interest of the community.
Whether a person can convince a judge to offer bail after a DUI conviction will ultimately depend on things such as:
- Was anyone injured by the driver’s reckless action?
- Do they have a prior history of DUIs?
- Just how high was their blood alcohol level?
In a case where someone else was hurt or the driver had several prior DUI arrests or their blood alcohol level was extremely high, it’s unlikely a judge will allow the person out on bail while awaiting sentencing.
Can A Person Convicted of a Crime Obtain Bail While They Appeal Their Conviction?
Appeals are an integral part of the American justice system, but they are also a big reason why courts at every level have significant backlogs. Because of those backlogs, it can be many months or more between the time a person appeals their conviction and the time a decision is handed down by the appellate court. Most people, if given the choice, would rather spend that time waiting at home rather than waiting in jail. But not everyone who is awaiting an appellate decision will be eligible for bail.
Most of the criteria that go into determining if a person will be granted bail while awaiting sentencing also apply to those waiting for their appeal to work its way through the system. But there is an important additional consideration when it comes to appeals: whether or not the judge believes the person’s appeal is likely to succeed.
The fact is few people awaiting an appellate decision will be granted bail. Certainly a far smaller percentage than those awaiting sentencing. Why? Because for an appeal to be successful, the lower court needs to have made an egregious procedural or constitutional error. And such cases are pretty few and far between.
Will Everyone Awaiting Sentencing Be Eligible for Bail?
No. Besides judges having broad discretion when determining who to grant post-conviction bail to, certain crimes are simply not bailable once a person has been convicted. They are:
- Felony sexual assault against a minor
- Felony sexual assault involving a deadly weapon
- Any violent felony
- Any felony committed using a firearm
- Child abuse
- A class five domestic violence conviction
- A second stalking conviction
If a person is convicted of any of the above offenses there is nothing a bonding company in Broomfield County can do for them. They will have no choice but to stay in prison while awaiting their sentencing.
Post-Conviction Bail is Often a Mixed Blessing
Post-conviction bail is likely to be much more expensive than pre-conviction bail. That’s because the court can assign whatever bail amount they want since those convicted of a crime have no constitutional right to bail, (meaning the eighth Amendment’s prohibition against excessive bail does not apply). Scraping together enough to secure bail, then, can be even more of a challenge for some than it was when the person was initially accused.
Also, the court will likely impose pretty strict bail conditions on the convicted individual. Far more restrictive conditions than were assigned when the person first came to the jailhouse after being arrested. So you see, post-conviction bail is often a mixed blessing. For some, paying the extra price to gain some limited freedom is worth it. For others, it is not.
Contact Urban Bail Bonds
If you have been convinced of a crime in Broomfield there is still a chance you may be able to obtain affordable bail bonds. Contact Urban Bail Bonds and let us know the particulars of your situation. If we can help we will. But remember, post-conviction bail is not the same as pre-conviction bail. It is granted far less often and in those cases where it is permitted, it typically includes a range of seriously restrictive conditions.