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Does It Matter if You Have a Lawyer at Your Bail Hearing?

The state of Illinois does not routinely provide counsel at bail hearings. Yet, the assistance of a lawyer could make the difference between a reasonable bail amount or a sum that you cannot hope to raise. If you are able to make bail, you can speak with your lawyers in their office instead of in a jail cell, bring them important information or evidence that you may have in your house, and make a calm, considered, counseled decision about any early plea bargain that may be offered to you.

How a lawyer can help at the bail hearing

When a judge is deciding how much bail to set on a case, the judge needs to look at a number of things. Your lawyer can point out those facts that argue for the setting of a reasonable bail in your case and explain, if necessary, those that do not. The judge may look at factors such as:

The nature of the crime

  • Whether the crime involved violence
  • Whether there were threats made
  • Whether the crime was connected to gang activities
    • The sentence that can be imposed for the crime

The effect of the crime on the victim

  • Economic or physical injuries suffered by the victim
  • Written statements made by the victim
  • Any concerns the victim may express about the fact that the defendant has been released on bail

The strengths of the prosecution’s case

  • Is the prosecutor likely to file a more serious charge?
  • What is the likelihood of conviction?
  • Is the evidence substantial?

 Your roots in the community

The judge may consider your educational level, family ties, employment history, finances and character. Proof of your residence along with the amount of time you have spent there can be considered in addition to the question of whether loss of the funds you supplied for bail would be sufficient to prevent flight.

When you are accused of a crime, you have a lot at stake, including your job, your reputation, your family, and most important, your freedom. The Law Offices of Paul Chatzky is an experienced criminal defense firm that vigorously advocates for your rights and freedom.

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