Jail Release, Bail, and Bond Hearings in Ohio

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by Brad Koffel

If someone you care for is in jail in Ohio, you may call our firm for assistance in having the person released. Our phones are monitored 24/7 and many times we can get someone out of jail much faster than waiting for a court date. Call 614-675-4845.

If a surety bond is required and we need a bail bondsman, we will refer you to the most reputable and quickest bail bonding companies in greater Central Ohio (A-A Absolute Bail Bonds, 1-800-258-BAIL or 614-221-6049).

When a person is arrested for a crime, specifically a felony in Ohio, they will be "slated" which means booked into the local county jail. A hearing will be held normally on the next available court date. That hearing is called an Initial Appearance.

The initial appearance requires a judge to advise the accused of the nature of the charges, the right to an attorney, the right to a continuance, and the right to the services of the public defender if he is indigent. Also, bail will be addressed.

Bail is collateral that is posted with the court to secure the appearance of the accused at future court dates. Most criminal cases will result in bail being made available to the accused. Whether or not the offender can "make bail" is a separate issue.

There are offenses in Ohio where a judge can refuse to grant bail. Primarily, if the State believes the offender poses a potential serious physical danger to a victim or witness then bail can be denied. Aggravated murder, murder, 1st and 2nd degree felonies, Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, and Felony OVI are offenses for which a judge can deny bail under Ohio law.

If an accused is entitled to release, a court has several different options and types of bail.
First, the preferred bail for a defendant and his/her family is an "O.R." bond (an unsecured bail bond). This simply meanas the accused is being released on his/her "Own Recognizance". This is also kwown as being "Recoged" or "ROR'd".

Second is a standard bail bond with 90% of the 10% deposit returned to the accused at the end of the case. An example would be a $10,000 appearance bond where the accused posts $1,000 to the clerk of courts. At the end of the case, $900 is refunded.

Third is a surety bond. This involves a "Bail Bondsman" or "Bonding Company". If the accused gets a "$10,000 cash or surety bond" and the family doesn't want to put up the full $10,000 with the court, we will refer our client to a bail bonding company. The bail bondsman will accept normally 10% (in this case $1,000) and will post an insurance policy with the court in the amount of $10,000. The $1,000 paid to a bondsman is kept as their fee. If the accused fails to appear for court, the bondsman will have bounty hunters track down the accused.

A court can impose additional restrictions in accused as conditions of release such as being released to a specific person or organization who agree to supervise the accused; restrictions on travel, associations, or residence; house arrest; electronic monitoring; prohibit contact with victims and witnesses; treatment; and any other rationally related condition necessary to secure the appearance of the accused.

In determing the appropriate bail, judges in Ohio are instructed to weigh the following factors: the nature and circumstances of the crime charged, whether or not a weapon was used, the weight of the evidence against the accused; confirmation of the defendant's identify; the defendant's family ties, resources, character, mental condition, length of residence in the community, record of convictions, record of court appearances, and any record of failure to appear before courts in the past.

Also, a court will look at whether the accused was on probation, parole, or community control when he/she committed this offense.