How Do Bail Bonds Work In Missouri?
December 21, 2021
Most individuals charged with a crime have the opportunity to post bail. Bail is a type of insurance between a defendant and the courts. It is an agreement stipulating the defendant must be present at hearings and trials, or forfeit their money.
Generally, judges set bail according to the crimes being charged, criminal history, employment status, community ties, and many other factors. With that in mind, bail amounts can be as low as a few hundred dollars and much higher than $10,000 in other cases.
If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, retaining an experienced lawyer is critical to requesting a reasonable bond.
Continue reading to learn how bail works in Missouri.
Missouri Bail Bond Laws
According to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 33.01, individuals charged with a bailable offense can be released from custody pending trial, hearing, etc. However, the defendant’s release depends upon the following conditions being met:
- They must appear in court as required (i.e., hearings, trial, etc.)
- They must submit to the “orders, judgment, sentence, and court process
- They must not break any other laws, tamper with the victims, or contact witnesses while out on release
- They must adhere to all conditions of release required by the court
What Factors Determine Whether Bail is Approved or Denied?
Generally, judges order bail and/or other non-monetary conditions of release in the amount necessary to “secure the appearance of a defendant at trial or any other stage of the criminal proceeding.” The courts decide the conditions of release by considering the following, but not limited to:
- The nature and severity of offense the defendant is charged with
- Their ability to pay bail
- Employment status
- Criminal history
- Mental health status
- Family ties in the community
- Record of appearing at previous court hearings
For the most part, judges have full discretion regarding bail amounts and additional conditions of release. However, most defendants have the right to some type of conditional release according to Federal and Missouri law. Continue reading to learn more.
Why Would A Judge Deny Bail?
Judges are not required to approve bail for all defendants. Generally, the court can deny bail under the following conditions:
- The defendant poses a danger to the victim of the alleged crime
- The defendant is a danger to the community
- Capital offenses (i.e., murder when the death penalty is not waived).
- The defendant is a flight risk and no conditions of release will secure their apperance in court.
In addition, the court can impose non-monetary conditions on a defendant’s release. However, suppose the court is unable to provide monetary and non-monetary conditions that will reasonably secure the safety of the alleged victim, community, or others. In that case, they are likely to order the defendant detained until trial.
It’s important to note that you have the right to a trial within 120 days of your request in circuit court if a judge denies bail. In many cases, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can have your wait time significantly reduced.
Examples of Additional Conditions of Release
Depending on the circumstances of the case, a judge can release the defendant on their own recognizance, set a bail amount, or impose other non-monetary conditions of release. Examples of additional conditions of release include but are not limited to:
- Placing the defendant in the custody of a designated person or organization
- Require the defendant to report to a peace officer of the court regularly
- Impose a curfew on the defendant
- Require the defendant maintain or gain employment
- Restrict the defendant from possessing drugs or alcohol
- Deny the defendant the right to possess firearms or other types of weapons
- Require the defendant to post a property bond
If a defendant cannot meet the conditions of release set by the court for some reason, they are entitled to a Release Hearing. Depending on the circumstances, the court may reduce the conditions at the hearing.
Contact Kirsch & Kirsch Today
The attorneys at Kirsch & Kirsch understand the Missouri bail bond system. If you’ve been charged with a crime, we can help you argue for decreased conditions of release, fight bail denials, and craft a world-class criminal defense on your behalf. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.