Remaining in the state of Ohio, and specifically in Montgomery County, is a common bail condition. It is also one of the most commonly violated conditions. In fact, many defendants are not residents of Montgomery County or even the State of Ohio. Instead, they reside in another county or in another state, and they probably made a very bad decision in a very bad location. If the defendant leaves and comes back for required court appearances, the judge will not issue an FTA (failure to appear) warrant. Nevertheless, the judge could forfeit the defendant’s bond based on a failure to abide by its terms and conditions.
For a person who was just released from jail, an immediate and possibly long-term return is almost the worst possible scenario. If the judge forfeits bail, it is difficult to obtain another one. Fortunately, a Dayton criminal law attorney advocates for defendants before their cases officially go to court. This advocacy includes negotiating favorable bond conditions and also being there for defendants if things go sideways.
Jail release is often critical in criminal cases, and not just for obvious personal reasons. The conviction rate for incarcerated defendants is much higher than the conviction rate for other defendants. Most people, including most jurors, assume that if the defendant is in jail, they did something wrong.
Remaining in the county is just one common condition of bail in Ohio. Other general conditions include:
These conditions vary. For example, some judges require defendants to appear at all preliminary hearings, even if they are strictly procedural. Other judges only require defendants to appear at contested hearings, like evidence suppression hearings and final trials.
Offense-specific conditions, like a keep-away order in an assault and an ignition interlock device (IID) in a DUI, are also common.
Pretty much everything is negotiable. A Dayton criminal defense attorney often works with jail officials or bail bonds officials to negotiate terms that the defendant can easily abide by. This negotiation makes the case a little more time-consuming, but in most situations, a stitch in time saves nine.
If the defendant leaves the state or violates another bail condition, most judges give defendants a chance to make things right before the hammer falls.
A missed court date is a good example. Even Dayton criminal defense lawyers must deal with unexpected emergencies or accidentally put an appointment on the wrong date on their calendars. If the defendant has a reasonable explanation for the missed appearance and immediately comes to court, most judges are forgiving.
The same thing goes for leaving the state while on bail. Frequently, an attorney arranges for an immediate plea. This guilty plea ends the bail conditions and enables the case to be transferred to the county of the defendant’s residence.
If the judge forfeits bail, do not ignore the matter. The judge issues a bench warrant that goes into a nationwide database, and there is no statute of limitations on an arrest warrant. So, when the defendant gets pulled over for a minor traffic violation, even several years later, that warrant pops up on the screen. Most law enforcement agencies have mandatory arrest policies in these situations.
Defendants who leave the state while on bail face harsh consequences. For a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dayton, contact the VanNoy Firm. Convenient payment plans are available.
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