A study by the American Economic Review found that the average defendant in the United States made less than $7,000 in the year before being taken into custody. That lack of an income could play a big role in whether a person is held before trial. In fact, less than 50 percent of individuals analyzed in the study could afford bail even when set at $5,000 or less. In the United States, there are roughly 500,000 who are held each day awaiting trial
A person who is held in pretrial detention is 14 percentage points more likely to be found guilty than someone who is released before trial. This is because that individual may have less of an ability to hold out for the best possible outcome. Those who are released prior to trial are 10.8 percentage points less likely to plead guilty.
If an individual is convicted of a crime, it may have a significant impact on that person’s life. For instance, it may play a role in whether or not that person can find work in the short or long-term. In some cases, simply being held prior to the outcome of a trial may also have short and long-term consequences for an individual.
Therefore, it may be a good idea for those charged with a crime to talk with an attorney. An attorney may be able to help a person obtain a bail amount that he or she may be able to afford. It may also be possible to create a defense that may result in a plea agreement or an outright acquittal. This may be done by casting doubt on evidence or having it suppressed before or at trial.