Why bail matters when resolving a criminal case

| Apr 10, 2019 | Criminal Defense

In many cases, defendants can purchase their freedom while their cases are pending. However, there are times when an individual who has the opportunity to bail out of jail cannot afford to do so. This can have a significant impact on how cases in Maryland and throughout the country play out. For instance, an individual may plead guilty simply to get out of jail in a timely manner. This may occur even if a person could have won at trial.

Spending even a night in jail could result in negative professional, social or personal consequences. Pleading guilty to a charge results in the creation of a criminal record that may further impede a person’s ability to find housing or get an education. This is why New York and other states are moving away from cash bail for minor crimes and those that don’t involve violence.

New York’s governor says that it will reduce the prison population by up to 90 percent. Individuals who are free while their cases are pending are more likely to see a favorable outcome in their case. This is because it becomes less of a priority for a prosecutor as there is less incentive for a person to plea quickly. Furthermore, defendants can show that they have learned their lesson, and they have more opportunities to visit with their attorneys.

A plea deal is essentially a criminal conviction as it requires a defendant to plead guilty to a charge. An attorney may be able to help a defendant avoid the need to accept a hasty plea deal. This may be done by helping an individual secure a bail amount that he or she can afford to pay. By posting bail, a person might gain the leverage needed to obtain a favorable outcome.