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Understanding How Bail Works in Missouri

Walker Law LLC Aug. 28, 2023

Man unlocking handcuffs by keyIn Missouri, a defendant facing criminal charges may be able to post bail to secure their temporary release. This involves depositing an amount of money to ensure that the defendant turns up for court proceedings. However, there are specific laws in Missouri that govern bail and bail bonds. In addition, the court officer or judge will consider various factors to determine whether to grant or deny bail to the defendant and the amount of bail. 

At Walker Law LLC, I have the diligence and expertise to advise and guide clients in bail and bail bonds-related matters. As a dedicated Missouri criminal defense attorney, I can fully explain how bail works in the state, decide your eligibility, help post bail or bond, and ultimately secure your release. My firm proudly serves clients across Chesterfield, Town and Country, Cottleville, as well as throughout St. Louis County and Charles County, Missouri. 

What Is Bail?

Bail is an amount of money or deposit paid by an accused person to secure their temporary release from jail while waiting for a criminal trial or further court hearings. In the state of Missouri, the judge or court officer will determine the bail amount and set other conditions based on the surrounding circumstances of the case and other factors. 

Once the court determines the bail amount and the defendant posts it, the court will hold the money throughout the court proceedings. The purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant attends the court process. If the defendant adheres to the bail conditions, the money will be returned after the court hearings. 

Who Qualifies for Bail in Missouri?

Under Missouri law, almost all defendants may qualify for bail or some form of conditional release. However, the court may deny bail when: 

  • The offender poses a danger to the community. 

  • The offender constitutes a danger to the victim. 

  • The defendant committed a capital offense. 

  • The defendant is a flight risk. 

  • No release conditions will be enough to make the defendant appear in court. 

A trusted lawyer can evaluate your unique situation to determine whether you qualify for bail and enlighten you about how the bail amount is determined. 

How Is the Amount of Bail Determined?

In Missouri, the judge often sets the bail amount and other conditions required to ensure the defendant’s appearance in court and another phase of the legal process. Here are some of the factors that the judge may consider to determine the amount of bail: 

  • The nature, severity, and surrounding circumstances of the crime. 

  • The defendant’s employment status. 

  • The defendant’s ability to pay bail. 

  • The defendant’s criminal history and the possibility to re-offend. 

  • The defendant’s record of appearing at prior court proceedings. 

  • The defendant’s family ties in the community 

  • The mental health status of the defendant. 

A reliable criminal defense attorney can advocate for your best interests, ensure that the judge sets a fair bail amount, help post bail, or explore other alternatives, such as bail bonds. 

What Are Bail Bonds?

Bail bonds are guarantee bonds posted by a third party – usually a bail bond company or bail bondsman – to the court on the defendant’s behalf. It is a promise that the defendant will appear at all court hearings. Essentially, defendants who are unable to raise the bail amount by themselves may turn to the bail bondsman. In return, the bail bondsman charges a service fee of about 10% of the bail amount and a form of collateral. 

Missouri's Bail Process

Once a defendant is arrested and booked in Missouri, they will be arraigned before a judge, where they’ll be informed of their charges. In addition, the judge will set the date for the trial, bail amount, and other conditions necessary for the defendant’s release. However, defendants who are unable to post bail will remain in custody. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights during the bail hearing and help you secure the needed amount and conditions for your release. 

How a Knowledgeable Attorney Can Help

When arrested and charged with a crime in Missouri, it is imperative that you know your rights and options regarding bail to enable you to make informed decisions. At Walker Law LLC, I’m poised and ready to advocate for the best interests of individuals in custody and help them secure bail. As your legal counsel, I can represent you intelligently at the bail hearing and help post bail. Also, I will craft a strategic plan to fight your charges in pursuit of the most favorable outcome for your unique situation. 

Contact me at Walker Law LLC today to schedule a simple case assessment with a practiced criminal defense lawyer. I can offer you the experienced legal counsel and reliable advocacy you need to secure bail and navigate the Missouri criminal justice system. My firm proudly serves clients across Chesterfield, Town and Country, Cottleville, as well as throughout St. Louis County and Charles County, Missouri.