Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer to Represent You When a Judge Sets Bail

You need a lawyer with you in court when a judge is going to set bail.

One of the first things that will happen if you are charged with a felony is that you will be brought before a Judge, and the Judge will set your Bail amount. Bail is the amount of money required to get you released from jail while your case is pending. The amount of the bail is determined by the Judge after the prosecutor tells the Judge about the alleged crime and about you, and after your attorney tells the Judge about the alleged crime and about you. Your attorney will emphasize all of the positive things about you in an attempt to keep bail as low as possible.

The amount of bail set by the Judge at this stage is critical because:

  1. If the amount is too high and you cannot raise the money, you will remain in jail.
  2. It is difficult, at a later stage, to get the amount of the bail reduced.
  3. The county will keep 10% of the bail, no matter the outcome of your case, so the higher the bail amount the more money you lose.
  4. Keeping the bail amount lower will allow you to have more funds for your defense, including investigation.
  5. You can better assist in your defense if you are out on bond, as opposed to being locked-up.

NOTE: In so many instances, a client’s family has come to me after bond has been set, complaining that their loved one is still in custody and asking me to do something. What I know is that if I was able to be present at the bail hearing, there would have been so much more information I would have given the judge, because I would have spent much more time with the family and with my client, finding out all of the information that is necessary to keep the bail lower. Court-appointed attorneys at a bail hearing simply do not have the time to spend to obtain all of the information from the family and the client. Sometimes, after I am retained, I am able to convince a judge to lower the bail, but sometimes, the judge will not lower the bail – but I know if I was there in the beginning, the bail would have been set lower. Representing a client at this early stage is extremely important.

A Judge, and only a Judge, can set the bail amount on a felony charge. A felony is a crime that, if you are found guilty, and sentenced to prison, the minimum sentence is one year in the Illinois Department of Corrections. We have the experience you need at this critical stage to have your bail set as low as possible.

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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

(708) 633-6005