Categories
Bail Criminal Court Process

When Can I Post Bail

When Can I Post Bail After An Arrest?

If you’re wondering when you can post bail after an arrest, this post will take you through all the facts and everything you should know. As you know, no one plans to be arrested when living in or visiting New Orleans. However, bad things happen from time to time and when they do sometimes you end up in jail.

If you find yourself in jail for a crime in New Orleans or anywhere in the state of Louisiana, you will almost always have a bail amount set for you. Here, we will discuss the ins and outs of the bail system in New Orleans and what it means if you find yourself charged and incarcerated in a local jail.  

PRO TIP: Read this post on how do bail bonds work. We know you’ll find it helpful.

What Bail Means

For those who do not know what bail is, let’s discuss it further. Bail is granted to those charged with a crime as a guarantee they will show for trial. When a person is charged with a crime they will, within a short time, go in front of a magistrate. This is where they will be officially arraigned and a bail set or have a preset bail. Once bail is set, different types of bail can be applied, such as: 

  • PR (personal recognizance) that allows the defendant to be released without fee and by pledging with a signature that they will appear on their scheduled court date to face the charges assigned to them. 
  • A Cash bond allows the defendant to put up the total amount of the bond set without using a third party. Once the person charged shows up for trial the cash bail amount will be refunded back to the defendant. 
  • Commercial bonds include a third party, usually known as a bonding agent, who puts up the bond amount for the defendant for a fee. 
  • A Property bond allows for property owned by the defendant to ensure they are present in court. If the defendant does not show for court, the property can be seized. 
arrest process and release on bail

When You Can Post Bail After an Arrest

In most cases, bail is straight forward. There are usually pre-set bail amounts assigned to lesser crimes to allow for more speedy bail time. For example, if you are arrested for a misdemeanor crime, the bail may already be set for your charge, at $200. This allows the defendant to skip the arraignment hearing and begin the bail process. 

Those who are charged with felonies, however, will usually find no set bail in place. If you are charged with a felony with no preset bail, you must wait for the arraignment hearing to have a bail set by the judge. With a felony charge, bail can take several hours or even days before you will be able to start the bail bonding process. Even with misdemeanor cases, you could be subject to the bonding agent’s schedule or a busy jail staff itself, as to when you can be released on bail. This can dishearten those who have a preset bail and still spend hours waiting to be released from jail. 

PRO TIP: Read this post on what to do if arrested. This will help you better understand the steps you should take in any situation.

What to Do Once Bail Is Set

The best-case scenario is that you have an attorney who can help you through the bond process. Most will only have access to a commercial bond at this time and go through an agent. With an attorney, you have most of the bail options above available for you, as your attorney may be able to ask for PR bail or start the process for a property bond, while you are in jail. Your attorney can help speed the process and have you back home much faster than those who try to take care of the process themselves. 

What To Do Once Released on Bail

Once you are released on bail, there are a few things that you absolutely should not do. 

  • Skip your court date: Missing your assigned court date will not only find you losing any bail money or property that you put up for collateral, but a warrant will also be issued for your arrest for not appearing. 
  • Get arrested again: Once out on bail, you must maintain your freedom by not getting charged with another crime. If this happens, you could find your original bail canceled and no way to get out of jail until your case is settled in court. 
  • Fail to check in with the bail agent: Most bail agents have rules that require you to check in with them on a regular schedule. This may include a phone call or an in-person visit. Either way, if you miss an appointment you can find your bail revoked and a warrant issued for your arrest. 
will I go to jail?

Summing Up

Getting released on bail is available to almost anyone charged with a crime. Bail will be either pre-set or set by a judge after you have been arrested. Preset bails make it easier and faster to be released from jail, but how fast is determined by factors such as how busy the jail or bonding agent is at the time. For felony charges, you may face several hours or days before being released. There are several rules to follow after making bail that must be obeyed or you will find yourself back in jail awaiting trial.

If you are looking for a criminal defense attorney with the experience and reputation to help you with your case, Barkemeyer Law Firm is the firm to call. We help thousands of individuals just like you and look forward to speaking to you.

We hope you have learned a little bit about when you can post bail after an arrest and wish you luck with your case.

Categories
Criminal Court Process

What to Do If You’re Arrested in New Orleans

New Orleans is renowned for being a city with one of the largest party scenes. Unfortunately, though, this often leads to legal troubles for those who let things get out of hand.

If you’ve been arrested, though, it’s not the end of the world— you just need to know what steps to take next.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about how to handle getting arrested in New Orleans.

Common Reasons for Getting Arrested

New Orleans is renowned for its festivities and nightlife. But, it’s also notorious for being a place that’s notably easy to run into legal trouble.

While being on the wrong side of the law is never a pleasant situation, the consequences can easily become exacerbated for those who are from out of town.

The best way to prevent legal trouble is to understand what type of situations you should avoid. Let’s explore a few of the most notable reasons why people get arrested in the city.

Public Intoxication

As you may expect, this is one of the most common reasons why people end up in handcuffs in New Orleans. This becomes especially true during the cities annual Mardi Gras celebration.

The main issue with public intoxication is that it’s not tied to a single action, which means there are hundreds of ways to get charged with this crime. It is technically Disturbing the Peace under Louisiana law.

For example, a drunk college student who attempts to climb up a fire escape ladder on an apartment building could be charged with public intoxication if they disturb tenants.

Similarly, a rowdy bargoer who suddenly has the urge to throw a traffic cone may find himself charged with this crime if the thrown object breaks the window of a nearby store.

Assault

Although not quite as common, assaults are bound to happen within crowded areas where people are drinking.

A typical scenario involves an argument that turns into a fistfight, which often leads to the person who first made physical contact with the other party getting arrested.

But, even shoving your way through a crowd could end up with you being charged with assault if someone falls and hurts themselves. Interestingly, an assault charge could also involve making a threat of bodily harm without actually taking physical action against another person.

It’s also important to understand the distinction between assault, aggravated assault, and battery in Louisiana:

  • Assault- The conscious attempt to commit a battery against another party or threaten to do so
  • Aggravated assault- An assault committed against another party with a weapon that law enforcement categorizes as dangerous, such as a baseball bat
  • Battery- Intentionally using violence or force against another party.

As such, it’s fairly easy to commit an assault without even realizing it during the heat of the moment.

Public Indecency

With enough alcohol consumption, this type of behavior begins to arise fairly easily. As with public intoxication, a public indecency charge isn’t tied to hey single action.

But, it’s not difficult to understand what qualifies as public indecency. This can include behavior like:

  • Committing a sex act in a public place or around other people
  • Urinating in public
  • Being nude or exposing oneself in a public area

Generally, public indecency involves two types of charges— indecent exposure and lewd conduct.

It’s important to note, though, that public indecency is often defined by engaging in this type of behavior with the intent to cause arousal or shock in others. So, someone who acts in this manner in a concealed space may not be charged with either of the above two crimes if caught.

Driving Under the Influence

After a night of partying, many people feel confident enough to drive home without any issue. Unfortunately, alcohol is notoriously effective impairing judgment, and many drivers who think they are navigating the roads efficiently end up swerving across lanes.

Other times, people are simply too impatient to wait for a taxi or Uber or don’t have the money to do so.

So, it’s not uncommon to hear of someone getting charged with a DUI during their trip to New Orleans.

What to Do If You’ve Been Arrested

Under certain circumstances, getting arrested can be terrifying. This is especially true for those who have never been involved in a conflict with law-enforcement before.

The thought of posting bail, going to court, etc. is something that evokes a negative response from most people.

Fortunately, there are steps that you can take in order to ensure that do you have the best chance possible things going in your favor.

Let’s dive in.

Comply With Law-Enforcement

No matter how badly you may wish to argue with the officers who arrested you, it’s best to do exactly as they say. Not only could you be stuck with additional charges, but getting aggressive with law-enforcement could leave you with physical injury if they deem you to be a threat to others or yourself.

When in doubt, follow directions exactly as they are told to you and remain as calm as possible.

Remain Silent

Although the vast majority of us are aware of our inherent right to remain silent while in custody, it’s absolutely imperative that you do so.

Politely tell the officers that you’re only willing to provide basic information (such as your full name and address) and that you won’t answer any other questions without a lawyer present.

While on your way to jail, avoid saying anything at all. Even a statement like “I didn’t mean to” or I’m sorry could result in legal complications in the future.

Contact a Legal Professional

As soon as you get the opportunity to do so, contact a reputable legal professional who operates in New Orleans. They’ll be able to handle your case as efficiently as possible due to their familiarity with legal conflicts that often occur in the city.

When looking for an attorney, search for someone who has significant legal experience, successful history of positive outcomes for their clients, and someone who you feel comfortable communicating with.

Afterward, you’ll be able to move forward with your legal proceedings and begin working on your defense.

Dealing With Getting Arrested Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about what to do after getting arrested in New Orleans in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward ensuring that you create the best chance possible of legally defending yourself.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.

Categories
Criminal Court Process DWI

DWI Court Process After an Arrest in Louisiana

Louisiana is often described by many as a wonderful place to live. Regardless of the parish which you find yourself in, you would still surely have a good reason to love the city. However, if there is one thing that they are strict about and rightly so has to be about keeping the laws in place. Therefore, any offense which is committed in the state is usually frowned at and published accordingly. This is no difference when it comes to the offense of DWI.

DWI simply refers to someone who is believed to be driving under the influence. It is often advised that you get a lawyer as soon as it happens and rightly so. There are so many processes which would be better handled by a criminal lawyer. If you are in Covington city in St. Tammany Parish, then you would do well to look at the DWI lawyers at the Barkemeyer law firm. They have experienced DWI lawyers who would be able to take care of your case competently. However, let us discuss the various DWI court processes which take place from arrest up to trial when you are believed to have committed the offense of driving under the influence or driving with intoxication.

Arrest

Every DWI case begins with an arrest. The law requires that the arresting officer has reasonable cause to believe a traffic violation has occurred prior to a stop. An exception to this is checkpoint cases. The law requires that an officer must have probable cause to arrest someone. This means that the officer must have an articulable factual basis to believe that the arrestee was operating a vehicle while under the influence.

The point of call when it comes to both DWI offenses usually starts on the road and reasonably so. A police officer could stop you if he feels that you have committed the offense. An arrest may subsequently be followed if he believes that you are guilty of the offense. The first step which would follow this would be the suspension of your license. You would need to act swiftly with your criminal defense lawyer in Covington. So, the work to free you of this offense starts from just after the arrest.

It is important to note that one of the criteria which would be used in checking if you are guilty of this crime would be your blood level. The limit which you are to keep if you have to hit the road is .08. Anything higher than that would be deemed to be an offense. Another punishment which you could receive apart from the suspension of your license would be incarceration.

Administrative Hearing

If you have been arrest and your license is about to be revoked, you would have to act swiftly to avoid that from happening. One of the ways to do this is to request an administrative hearing to be heard. When your license is seized, you would have about 30 days to request for such hearing. During this period, you would be issued with a temporary license.

Arraignment

An arraignment is the first court date. The arraignment date may be the date on your ticket or it will be served on you at a later time. The purpose of the arraignment is so the court can inform you of the formal charges filed against you. The defendant then must enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, nolo contendere, or not guilty by reason of insanity.

After the request for the administrative hearing has been done, the next step would be the arraignment. Simply put, this would be the first appearance in court for you. The day of arraignment would usually vary. Sometimes, you might have to go to court the very day the alleged offense took place. Regardless of the day, you would have three options in court when you arrive. You could either plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. The implications in your plea are large. For this reason, having a lawyer go through the details with you would be quite significant. He would thus know how to approach the matter effectively based on the circumstances. Going for a criminal defense lawyer in St. Tammany would be a great choice as they would be able to get to you faster if the incident took place in that parish. Barkemeyer law firm is always interested in helping clients get a good representation in court when accused of such offense. There is simply so much at stake and it is important to act quickly to avoid being caught in the mess.

Pre-Trial

Some of the matters which would be attended to here would be motion hearing and getting what you need to make your case stronger. A good criminal defense lawyer would go out ways in which motions can be raised to support his client’s case. Once the pre-trial stage is done, the hearing would take place.

It is important to remember that when it comes to proving evidence, it is the job of the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, all you have to do is to raise some doubts as to the claim of the prosecution. Doing it well could swing the case in your favor.

Once the main hearing is over, the judge would decide if you are guilty or not guilty. If found guilty, you would most likely face sentencing. Most sentencing would usually be harsher if you are not a first time offender. It could also be harsh if your alcohol levels were high. The general principle here is that the higher the alcohol level in your blood, the more likely that your sentence would be more extreme.

Motion Hearings

Depending on the charge and court, the process may include motion hearings in which the court hears motions by the attorneys. The facts of the case will determine the types of motions hearings that are necessary.  Our experienced Louisiana DWI lawyers know what important motions to file in your case.

Trial

In misdemeanor DWI cases, the defendant has a right to a trial by judge. In felony DWI cases, the defendant has a right to a jury trial or judge trial. The defendant decides if he will waive his right to a jury trial.

Sentencing

If the defendant pleads guilty or is otherwise found guilty at trial, the judge will determine the sentence based on statutory law, the defendant’s criminal record, and the facts of the case.

Depending on the court and judge, a presentence investigation may be ordered. This investigation will reveal to the judge the defendant’s background, facts of the case, and other important information that can help guide the judge in determining an appropriate sentence. 

Getting a DWI Lawyer in Louisiana

If you find yourself in this situation and you have a DWI in Louisiana, you must get yourself a lawyer as fast as you can. The Louisiana DWI lawyers at the Barkemeyer law firm would be a good option for you. You would have experienced lawyers who have good track records of representing their clients well. Getting convicted of such offense can be devastating. Getting our help could help you save yourself and possibly your career. Get a lawyer as soon as you can.

Contact the Louisiana DWI lawyers at Barkemeyer Law Firm.