Category: Criminal Defense

Indianapolis Criminal Attorney On Bailing Someone Out Of Jail

When you or a loved one is arrested your first question may be: can we get him or her out jail. The answer in most cases is yes, but it may not be in your best interest to do so right away. While there will almost always be a bail amount you can post to have them released, it may be hundreds or even thousands of dollars more than you would pay if you wait until a bail hearing can be held.

Am I eligible for a bail bond?

Indiana’s Constitution gives everyone charged with a crime, except those charged with Murder, a right to bail.  However, this right to a bail bond only means an initial bond. If a person violates the terms of their bail bond or if they are arrested on a parole or probation violation they may be held in jail without a bail bond until the matter is resolved.

How much will the bond be for a misdemeanor or felony?

While the Indiana Constitution ensures the right to bail, it does not say how much that bail must be. It only says that the bail cannot be “excessive.” What amounts to an excessive bail in a particular case is largely left to the “sound discretion of the trial court.” That means that the judge you appear before will have a lot of power to determine to how much it will cost to get out of jail.
Many counties and courts use guidelines to help determine what bail should be. Courts commonly consider what level of crime a person is charged with, what kind of crime it is (nonviolent v. violent), and the person’s criminal history. For instance, a person who is arrested in Marion County for a Level 6 Felony (what use to be called a D Felony) can expect that his or her initial bond will be $2,500 surety. However, at a bond review hearing the judge can drop that amount to $0 and release the person on their own recognizance or raise it to $5,000 if there are aggravating factors.
There are some factors that all courts are required to consider when setting bail. Those are:

(1) the length and character of the defendant’s residence in the community;
(2) the defendant’s employment status and history and his ability to give bail;
(3) the defendant’s family ties and relationships;
(4) the defendant’s character, reputation, habits, and mental condition;
(5) the defendant’s criminal or juvenile record, insofar as it demonstrates instability and a disdain for the court’s authority to bring him to trial;
(6) the defendant’s previous record in not responding to court appearances when required or with respect to flight to avoid criminal prosecution;
(7) the nature and gravity of the offense and the potential penalty faced, insofar as these factors are relevant to the risk of nonappearance;
(8) the source of funds or property to be used to post bail or to pay a premium, insofar as it affects the risk of nonappearance;
(9) that the defendant is a foreign national who is unlawfully present in the United States under federal immigration law; and
(10) any other factors, including any evidence of instability and a disdain for authority, which might indicate that the defendant might not recognize and adhere to the authority of the court to bring him to trial.

Should I post bond right away or should I wait for a bond review?
Whether to post bond right away or wait for a bond review will probably be one of your first big questions when beginning the criminal process. It is not always any easy question to answer and it is probably something you would want to ask an attorney if you consult one.
Some things you should keep in mind are, your resources, the crime the person is charged with, and how much it will cost to provide quality representation for the person arrested. Many crimes have long term consequences. You may have to conserve your resources to make sure you can fight those charges. A short jail stay at the beginning of the case may prevent a long prison sentence at the end.
For a free consultation on bond issues or any other criminal matter, contact Attorney Andrew Riedle at (317)377-4435.

Criminal Defense Process

Pre-Charging: Before charges are filed, you should not make a statement to the police without an attorney present. An experienced attorney can provide the police with the information you want them to know without sacrificing your right to remain silent.

Bond: This is the amount of money you have to put in trust with the county to be free while your case is pending. This amount will initially be set by the Court when charges are filed, but it can be reduced at a bond hearing, where your attorney can present evidence and make arguments on your behalf.

Investigation: I’ll begin your defense by finding out what evidence the State has, and assessing the best way to combat it. I’ll review the ways they gathered their evidence, interview their witnesses when necessary, and look for evidence that helps your case.

Plea negotiations: Trial is not always the best option. Negotiating a plea can limit the penalties you face and may result in reduced charges. What’s important is that you understand all the different risks and outcomes between a trial and a plea before you make a decision.

Expungement: Whether you are convicted of a felony or found not guilty, the State keeps records that are accessible to employers unless you take action. Indiana now allows criminal records to be expunged from public access. It is a process that is not often lengthy and can be simple if handled correctly.

You and your family should not face this process alone. Contact me today so I can begin helping you.

Arrested for Possession of Marijuana in Indianapolis and Indiana General Penalties

Being arrested for possession of marijuana in Indianapolis or any part of Indiana can have serious consequences.  There are several levels of criminal liability for possession of marijuana with varying penalties.

If you are alleged or arrested for possession of marijuana after June 30, 2014, you could be faced with the following penalties:

Possession of Marijuana as a Class B Misdemeanor

This is the lowest level of crime that you can be charged with if you are caught with marijuana.  If you are convicted, you can be sentenced from anywhere between 0 and 180 days in jail, and may be fined up to $1,000.  However you can be placed on probation from anywhere between 0 days and 2 years, with drug treatment classes, community service and other conditions.  Depending on your other criminal history there are different types of diversion agreements that can be negotiated which may result in your case being dismissed.

Possession of Marijuana as a Class A Misdemeanor 

If a person has been convicted of an offense involving any drug in the past, the offense becomes a Class A Misdemeanor, a higher level of crime.  If you are convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor, you can be sentenced from anywhere between 0 days and 365 days in jail, and may be fined up to $5,000.

Possession of Marijuana as a Level 6 Felony

A person can be charged with possessing marijuana as a Level 6 Felony: (1) If the person is caught with over 30 grams of marijuana; and (2) If the person is has been convicted of an offense involving any drug in the past.  If you are convicted of a Level 6 Felony you can be sentenced to anywhere between 6 months and 2.5 years and may be fined up to $10,000.

What happens do my driver’s license if I am caught with marijuana in my car?

One of the biggest concerns in these case is retaining your driver’s license.  If a court finds that a motor vehicle was used in connection with possessing marijuana, your license can be suspended anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.   This is actually a harsher penalty than most first time drunk driving offenses.

 

If you were charged with possession of marijuana prior to July 1, 2014, you may have received the following penalties:

Possession of Marijuana as a Class A Misdemeanor:

This is the lowest level of crime that you could be charged with if you were caught with marijuana prior to July 1, 2014.  If you were convicted, you may have been sentenced from anywhere between 0 and 365 days in jail.

Possession of Marijuana as a Level Class D Felony

Prior to July 1, 2013, there were two ways a person could be charged with possessing marijuana as a Class D Felony: (1) If the person was caught with over 30 grams of marijuana; and (2) If the person had been convicted of an offense involving any drug in the past.  If you were convicted of a D Felony you may be sentenced from anywhere between 6 months and 3 years and may be fined up to $10,000.

Free Consultation

These are the general penalties you may face.  Your particular case will most likely be determined by the strength of the evidence against you, whether the police found the marijuana due to an illegal search, and then on your background, character, and criminal history.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for possession of marijuana and you would like a free consultation about your case, call attorney Andrew Riedle at (317)377-4435.

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