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630-472-9700Available 24/7

How Does The Bail Process Work in Illinois?

Posted on in Bail

bail processSome people who have been arrested and charged with misdemeanors and minor felonies may be released on bail until the date of the trial for their crime. In most misdemeanor cases, the amount of bail is a standard amount that is set by state law, depending on the crime committed. If the defendant cannot afford to pay the bail, he or she will be taken for a bail hearing. The rule is different in domestic violence cases.

In cases in which a defendant is charged with domestic battery, the defendant may be released on bail that requires the defendant stay away from the alleged victim or their shared residence for at least 72 hours after the incident. If the defendant violates this condition of the bail, he or she not only forfeits the bail money but may also be charged with a separate crime by violating the no-contact bail condition.

In more serious cases, the accused individual will be taken for a bail hearing before a judge. Hearings to set bail are called “bail hearings,” and they usually occur in the Circuit Court in the county in which you were arrested. Visit the Cook County website or DuPage County website for more information.

Bail Hearings

At a bail hearing, the judge will examine a collection of factors to determine what amount of bail, if any, is appropriate in the defendant’s case. The factors the judge will consider include the nature of the alleged offense, including whether violence was used in committing the offense, and the number of prior offenses committed by the defendant. The judge should also consider the amount of evidence against the defendant (i.e. how likely the defendant is to win or lose her case), the defendant’s employment, financial resources and ties to the community (to determine whether she is a flight risk), and any other aggravating or mitigating factors pertinent to the circumstances.

After Payment of Bail

After paying the bail, the court reserves the right to use the money to cover court costs, attorneys’ fees and other fees if the accused fails to uphold the conditions set forth in the bail hearing. If the accused satisfies conditions of the bail, the accused will receive approximately 90 percent of the amount afterwards. The court will retain around 10 percent for associated court costs. If the defendant does not show up for court or otherwise fails to uphold conditions of bail, bail money will be forfeited and ultimately used to pay for county court costs, and other related expenses.

Getting More Help with Your Bail Questions

If you have recently been involved in a situation where you have been asked to pay your own bail or the bail of another, it may be helpful to share any questions you have about the process with an experienced defense attorney. Our Illinois criminal law attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. are knowledgeable about all stages of the criminal process in courts in Cook and Dupage counties and throughout the rest of northern Illinois. Contact us today at 630-472-9700.

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