Thursday, January 28, 2010

“MY LOVED ONE HAS BEEN ARRESTED!”: POLICE CUSTODY AND THE BOND HEARING

You just got a phone call from your loved one. Somehow, they were picked up by police and are now in custody. Your loved one is scared and begging you for help. What happens next and what can you do?

In Illinois, if your loved one has been picked up for a relatively minor offense and has a clean record, they may be eligible for an I-Bond. That means they can leave the police station on their personal promise that they will appear in Court.

But what if the situation is more serious? In that case, your loved one may be held over for a bond hearing until the earliest possible court business date. At the hearing, a Judge will decide how much money a criminal defendant must post in order to be released from police custody. If your loved one had the bad fortune to be picked up on a Friday night, they may have to spend the weekend in jail.

If you receive that distressed call, you are best advised to contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can visit your loved one in the police station, advise them not to talk to police and notify the police that they are represented by an attorney and will not answer questions. Timely intervention can help prevent your loved one from caving into police pressure and providing the evidence needed for a conviction.

An attorney can also play an important role at the bond hearing. At the hearing, the State will likely argue that a high bond or bail should be set. In Illinois courts, such as the Circuit Courts at Skokie, Rolling Meadows and Maywood, your loved one will have to post 10% of any bond that the Judge sets in order to be released. The bond may be set so high that your loved one has no hope of making it and must then remain in jail. An experienced attorney may be able to assess which arguments are most likely to sway a particular Judge to lower bail.

If you have questions or need immediate assistance, feel free to contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com for advice.

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