An arrest is not a conviction. Technically speaking, a person who has been arrested has been taken into police custody on a temporary basis. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Nonetheless, a person may be required to post bail to secure their release while they await a criminal trial.
As explained in a guide published by the Minnesota House of Representatives, bail allows for the temporary release of a defendant in exchange for some form of “security” that they will return and cooperate with the criminal justice process. There are many misconceptions about this. Here, our Mankato criminal defense lawyers dispel three common myths about bail and bond in Minnesota.
Bail and Bond are the Same Thing
False. Although they are frequently confused, bail and bond refer to two distinct things. Bail is a payment made by a defendant (or their loved one) directly to the court. It is posted in exchange for the defendant’s release. In contrast, bond is posted by a third party (usually a licensed company) on behalf of the defendant. One of the benefits of bond is that it essentially allows a defendant to obtain a “loan” for bail—meaning they can secure release even if they do not have the money/assets to post the entire amount due.
Bail is Only About Money
False. In Minnesota, courts also have other options available when setting the terms for release. Beyond requiring bail, a Minnesota judge could also put other conditions in place. Depending on the specific circumstances of the case, a judge may order any or all of the following conditions:
- Mandatory supervision of the defendant;
- Restriction on travel or associations;
- Required court appearance or “check-ins” at pre-scheduled dates.
Ultimately, the overriding purpose of bail is to help to ensure that a defendant attends all court hearings and cooperates with the legal process. Non-monetary restrictions may be imposed to achieve this goal.
You Have No Chance to Get Bail Reduced
False. In Minnesota, you have the right to request a bail reduction. If you want to get your bail amount reduced, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. An attorney can review your circumstances, and put together a strong, well-supported case to seek a bail reduction. Many arguments can be raised in support of a bail reduction, including:
- Arguing that the bail amount is unjustifiably high;
- Demonstrating your close ties to the community and commitment to cooperating with the court; and
- Showing that your financial circumstances make the bail amount unreasonable.
Do You Have Questions About Bail and Bond?
We can help. At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Mankato criminal defense law team has a deep understanding of the rules, regulations and procedures that regulate bail and bond in Minnesota. If you have any specific questions about bail, we are more than happy to help. Contact us now to set up your completely confidential case evaluation. Our law firm serves communities throughout all of Southern Minnesota, including Albert Lea, Owatonna, Stewartville, and New Ulm.