Family members often bail loved ones out of jail in Baltimore. Defendants are often extremely upset, lack the resources to make bail or suffer from mental health issues. Just a few hours in a cell can be very traumatic. Our defense lawyers can advise you ‘how does a husband bail his wife out of jail in Baltimore?’
Maryland’s bail laws have changed a lot in recent years. Few family members or friends of defendants know much about it – at least until they receive an urgent call for help. Many people panic or delay. Their family member often spends longer in jail than necessary.
Baltimore bail bonds lawyer Randolph Rice looks at the question ‘how does a husband bail his wife out of jail?’
What Happens When a Wife is Taken into Custody in Baltimore?
If your wife has been arrested for an offense such as drunk driving, larceny or assault she will be taken to a booking facility, likely Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center at 300 E. Madison Street. Inmates are usually only housed here for a short. They are then transferred to a county jail. A husband should act fast to bail his wife out of jail in Baltimore to avoid delay. For DUI cases, we strongly suggest consulting a Baltimore DUI defense lawyer.
An arrestee in Maryland is taken before a district court commissioner after booking. The official checks for probable cause for the arrest and sets release conditions. The audience with the commissioner usually happens within a few hours of the arrest. It may take longer in busy cities such as Baltimore. The hearing is not open to the public.
The commissioner will advise the defendant of the following:
- The charges against her and the possible penalties;
- Her right to an attorney;
- Her responsibilities in obtaining an attorney;
- Whether she qualifies to be represented by the Public Defender.
It makes sense to hire an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible to minimize any delays in getting your family member or friend out of jail. The lawyer will advise you of the fastest way to make bail.
Will a Commissioner Automatically Order Bail for a Defendant in Baltimore?
No. About half of the defendants are released on their own recognizance. This means the accused is set free after promising in writing to attend future proceedings. The defendant does not have to pay any money as a guarantee. However, if they fail to show up at a future court hearing, a judge will likely issue a warrant to pick them up.
The commissioner’s decision on whether to set bail or release the defendant on their own recognizance is influenced by factors including:
- The seriousness of the crime in question;
- The suspect’s previous criminal record;
- How great a danger they pose to the public;
- Whether witnesses could be threatened;
- The suspect’s ties to the community, family, and employment.
If the defendant stands accused of a particularly heinous crime, the commissioner may decide against bail or set it at a very high amount. Likewise, if the commissioner decides the defendant poses a danger to the public, bail will likely be denied.
What Steps Can a Husband Take to Bail His Wife out of Jail in Baltimore?
Sometimes a husband will not realize his wife has been arrested in Baltimore until she has appeared before a commissioner. The commissioner may have already set bail. The first time you hear about the arrest could be after the defendant sees the commissioner. A bail hearing is scheduled the next day in front of a district or a circuit court judge for people who are denied bail. Your attorney can request a hearing if you want a review of the terms of bail.
The first bail review is the best and sometimes the only chance you have to secure release before a trial. Hire a Baltimore criminal defense lawyer and to be prepared. If your wife listed you as a contact, you will likely receive a call the day before the bail hearing. Make sure to verify your address. Having a fixed local address is an important factor in securing bail.
If a commissioner has set bail for your wife, work with the courts to get her released from jail as soon as possible.
What Are the Options for a Husband to Bail His Wife out of Jail in Baltimore?
Your wife may be released on a cash bond. The commissioner usually sets cash bonds for amounts of $2,500 or less. A husband can typically secure release by posting 10 percent of the bail amount. Cash bonds are getting a bad rap across the country for penalizing poor defendants. Some states such as New Jersey have abolished the system altogether.
In 2017, the Court of Appeals of Maryland criticized the use of cash bonds. The justices instructed court commissioners and judges to look at other ways to ensure a defendant appears for trial. This means you should not be unable to afford bail in Baltimore.
In some cases, a husband can set up a property bond to get his wife out of jail in Baltimore. This is more complicated than a cash bond. You can use a home or another property as collateral. It should be equal or above the value of the bond amount. The court clerk requires certain paperwork. The lien will be released if the defendant appears at all court appearances.
The third option is to use a bail bondsman or agent. The bondsman charges a fee, typically 10 percent of the bail amount. If the commissioner sets your wife’s bail at $10,000, the bondsman will demand $1,000. The fee is not refundable. The husband or another family member or a friend will sign an agreement that they are responsible for the full amount to the bondsman if the defendant fails to show for a court hearing.
Family members should seriously consider whether to post bail. You end up responsible for the full bail amount if your family member fails to show up. If a relative or a friend is unreliable you should carefully weigh up the consequences.
How Can a Husband Bail His Wife out of Jail in Baltimore – Ask a Lawyer
An experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyers legal professional can advise you on all aspects of bail. We attend bail hearings and represent your family members in court. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, our Baltimore bail attorneys have secured the release of hundreds of people from jail. We are well aware of the poor conditions in cells in Baltimore and the risks posed to defendants by just a few days behind bars. Please contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation at (410) 431-0911.