Legal Blog

Are you Eligible for Pretrial Release?

27 January 2020 | Criminal Defense,  

Attorney Sean Hessler

Written by
Sean Hessler

27 January 2020

Criminal Defense,  

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Being arrested and facing criminal charges can be a traumatizing event especially if you’ve never had any legal troubles. You may not know what to expect, including whether you are eligible for pretrial release.

Being released from jail pending resolution of your charges can occur, if you’re eligible for pretrial release, by posting bail or in some cases on your promise (personal recognizance) to return for court. The important thing to remember if you find yourself under arrest is that you need the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney like those at Hessler Law PC. Our lawyers can help protect your rights, including assisting with your pretrial release. Call us at (317) 886-8800.

What is Pretrial Release?

Pretrial release can occur after an arrest is made and you appear before a judge. At your initial hearing, which should take place within 24-36 hours of being jailed, you may be asked for your plea to the charges and a discussion will be had on what, if any, pretrial release conditions may be available. It is vitally important that if asked for a plea that you plead “not guilty.” Don’t ever plead guilty unless you’ve have consulted an attorney and have been properly advised of all your options.

If you’re eligible for pretrial release, the court will determine if you’ll be allowed to go with just a promise to return or bail is required. Basically, bail – either money or property – is given to the court as collateral that insures you appearing for trial. If you don’t appear as ordered, the bail is forfeited. Once the case is resolved, no matter the outcome, the money or property is returned.

Each county in Indiana has a bail schedule for lesser offenses. For more serious charges, a judge may determine what bail is required.

Who is Eligible for Pretrial Release?

Most people arrested will likely be eligible for bail or to be released on their own recognizance (a personal promise to return to court). Only those charged with the most violent offenses, such as murder, or who are found to pose a significant flight risk, may not be successful petitioning for pretrial release.

A new criminal procedure rule in Indiana could lead to more people being released to await trial. Under this directive, which became effective statewide on January 1, 2020, the court should release you without requiring a bond if you don’t present a “substantial risk of flight or danger to themselves or others.” Whether you are a risk of flight or are dangerous will be determined by an evidence-based risk assessment.

Release without bond under this rule is not available to:

  • Those charged with murder or treason
  • Those on a previous pre-trial release when arrested for another incident
  • Those on probation, parole, or other community supervision

While you may not be eligible to be released on your own recognizance, most offenses are eligible for bail. It is important to quickly find counsel after your arrest who can help you secure your release. By working with our criminal defense attorneys, you may be able to avoid the consequences that can arise with being in jail for several days – such as job loss, child care issues, or missing important events.

Don’t Stay in Jail Longer Than Necessary

Life can be unpredictable. Something accidental, inadvertent, or just careless could result in your arrest. The legal issue may be taken care of relatively quickly, but the first matter of business is always to be released quickly from incarceration. The criminal defense attorneys at Hessler Law PC can help you with pretrial release issues. The sooner you call us at (317) 886-8800 the quicker we can get you back to your life.