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Getting Out of Jail After an Arrest

Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 at 1:10 pm    

When people are arrested and placed in jail, usually their top priority is getting out of jail and back home where they belong. Often, this is accomplished by posting bail or cash bond and promising that in return for being released on bail, the defendant promises to appear at all future hearings and court dates.

If the defendant keeps their promise and appears in court as instructed, the bail is returned. However, if the person doesn’t show up, what typically follows is the court keeps the bail, a bench warrant can be issued, and the person most likely ends up back in jail. When someone is arrested in this scenario, they may be held in jail and denied bond.

After the Arrest: Setting Bail

After someone is arrested, they’ll want to find out what the bail amount is as soon as possible. If the defendant is not able to see the judge immediately, they can end up sitting in jail, usually over a Saturday and Sunday. Sometimes, someone will be arrested on a Friday and the earliest bail can be set is on the following Monday. However, some jurisdictions have standard bail amounts for common crimes and getting out of jail comes down to paying the fixed amount on the bail schedule.

Under the Eight Amendment, no one is supposed to face an excessive amount of bail and bail cannot be used by governments to punish arrestees or raise money. The sole purpose of bail is to ensure the defendant appears in court when they’re supposed to, but even still, judges have been known to set such high bail amounts that the defendant cannot get out of jail. It’s common for excessive bail to be set when someone is facing murder charges or when they’re perceived to be a flight risk.

Ways someone can post bail:

  • Paying cash
  • Paying by check
  • Signing over the ownership rights to their property
  • Using a bail bondsmen
  • Being released on their own recognizance

Of the above options, being released on your own recognizance (OR) is the most ideal, but no everyone gets that option. If you ever find yourself in jail, you’ll want to get out as fast as possible, especially if you have a family relying on your financial support. To fully explore your options for getting out of jail, contact our firm for the high-caliber representation you deserve.

For more information about bond money, you can visit Escambia County Clerk’s website by clicking here.

Can I Travel Abroad with a Felony?

Posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2020 at 1:09 pm    

When you’re facing criminal charges, you’ll probably hear your defense attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge say, “Don’t go too far” or something to that effect. In other words, they’re implying that you should probably stay in the area and avoid traveling out of state, let alone out of the country. If you’re placed on probation, community supervision, or parole for any reason during a criminal case, the court may even order you to stay in a certain area – this is common.

But what if your criminal case is complete? What if you have served your sentence and are no longer under the court’s close supervision? If you were convicted of a felony, can you travel abroad, to a foreign country? Or, does a felony conviction bar you from international travel?

Applying for a U.S. Passport

Suppose you’re a convicted felon who’s completed their sentence. You want to travel out of the country, so in that case, your first step is to apply for a U.S. passport. Will you be denied a U.S. passport? You should not have any issues obtaining a U.S. passport with a felony on your record because a passport simply proves your citizenship to the United States. However, you could be denied a U.S. passport under the following circumstances:

  • You owe $2,500 or more in back child support;
  • You’ve been convicted of drug trafficking;
  • You’ve been charged with a felony;
  • You’ve been charged with a federal crime;
  • A court order has forbidden you from traveling abroad;
  • As a condition of probation or parole, you’ve been barred from traveling outside the U.S.;
  • You’re currently under a supervised release program for a felony, or possession or distribution of a controlled substance on the state or federal level.

If you’re a convicted felon and none of the above exceptions apply, you should not have any problem obtaining a U.S. passport. As long as you’ve completed your sentence and no court has barred you from traveling abroad, you should be able to travel overseas. However, some countries do not let convicted felons in.

Canada, for example, frowns heavily on DUIs, even misdemeanor DUIs, and it will block foreigners from entering with DUIs on their record. If you plan to travel overseas with a felony on your record, make sure the country you plan to visit will let you in.