The Law Office of Brian J. Mirandola


47 DuPage Court, Elgin, IL 60120


Bail under Illinois Law

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Illinois criminal defense attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, criminal justice system,Being arrested can be a harrowing experience for people, especially if the person is going through it for the first time. After it happens, most people's initial concern is making sure that they are not held in jail until the time of their trial. In many circumstances that is possible, but it brings up the issue of bail. There are a variety of misconceptions about the purposes of bail, as well as the practical way that paying bail works. The basic idea behind making defendants post bail is as a deposit against their failing to show up for court.

What Bail Is

Bail is a sum of money that the court requires defendants to turn over to the court in exchange for being allowed to leave jail before their trial. The law requires the defendant to post 10 percent of the set bail, and the court then releases them. As long as the defendant makes all of their court dates, then they get their money back at the end of the process, minus an administrative fee.

Bail solves the problem in the criminal justice system that many defendants do not want to show up for their court date or think that they can delay the process by avoiding the courtroom. The law could solve this problem by simply keeping every defendant in jail up to the time of their trial, but that would tread on people's rights. After all, defendants have not been convicted of a crime, and it can take months or even years to get to a trial in the current justice system. Using a deposit system, the court can give people their freedom before the trial, while still ensuring that defendants will take their obligations to appear in court seriously.

How Bail Is Set

Judges are not required to set bail, but most offenses in Illinois are eligible for bail. When determining whether to offer bail, the judge considers a variety of things including the type of offense, whether it was violent, and whether the defendant was already out on bail. The court will also check to make sure that the offense does not fall under the limited set of offenses that are not eligible for bail, such as crimes that can be punished with a life sentence or crimes where the judge determines that allowing the defendant out on bail would pose a danger to some person. If the judge does offer the defendant bail, then the judge will look at the person's financial well-being and the seriousness of the crime. The bail must be enough to serve its purpose of bringing the person back to court, while not being so much as to be oppressive.

Dealing with the legal system can be a stressful experience, but you do not need to go through it alone. If you have recently been charged with a crime, contact an experienced Kane County criminal defense attorney today to learn more about your rights.

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