Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested, you should immediately call a Rhode Island bail lawyer. It is important to have a skilled and experienced lawyer who will fight for your rights from the beginning of the case, including getting you released on bail. Whether you will be released on bail is a case specific question and will require an accomplished lawyer who can advocate for your release.
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Purpose of Bail
In Rhode Island, the primary purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant will be in appearance at court and will keep the peace and be of good behavior.
When Will Bail Be Set?
Bail is set at your initial appearance in District Court or at your arraignment in Superior Court.
What type of Bail will be set?
The form of bail you will receive depends largely on the seriousness of the crime you have been charged with and your previous criminal history. Below, you will find an outline of the different forms of bail available under the Rhode Island Bail Laws.
Personal Recognizance (PR)
Personal recognizance bail is simply one’s promise to return to court. Personal recognizance does not require the posting of any money.
When is PR appropriate?
In Rhode Island, there is a presumption of PR in misdemeanor and non-capital felonies. However, the presumption of personal recognizance can be overcome if the prosecution can show either:
- That the defendant will not appear at future court dates
- That the defendant presents a danger to the community
If PR is not sufficient, further conditions can be set by the judge. These conditions must be the least restrictive as possible to assure appearance and community safety. Monetary conditions are allowed only if no other conditions will assure appearance or community safety.
Surety bail requires the posting of a percentage of money. In Rhode Island, defendants are required to post 10% of the amount of bail ordered by the judge. For example, if the judge sets bail at $10,000 with surety, the defendant will be required to pay $1,000.
When is Surety Bail appropriate?
Surety bail is common when the defendant is charged with a serious crime or has a long criminal history.
Surety bail may be imposed only if one or more conditions exist:
- The court is reasonably satisfied the defendant will not appear
- The court is reasonably satisfied the defendant will engage in other criminal behavior
- The defendant is a bail, probation, or parole violator or has outstanding warrants for failure to appear.
- Misdemeanors: $1,000 with surety or $100 cash
- Felonies with a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison: $5,000 with surety or $500 cash
- Felonies with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison: $10,000 with surety or $1,000 cash
- Felonies with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison: $20,000 with surety or $2,000 cash
- Felonies with a maximum sentence of more than 20 years: $50,000 with surety or $5,000 cash
Cash bail is not common in Rhode Island. However, if a judge imposes cash bail, you are responsible for paying the set amount in full, unlike surety bail, where you only pay a percentage.
What happens if a Defendant cannot post bail?
If a defendant cannot post bail, they will be held in jail until they are able to pay or until trial. Defendants may also seek the assistance of a bail bondsman in Rhode Island.
Held Without Bail
When a defendant is “held without bail” they will be imprisoned at the Adult Correctional Institute (ACI) until the end of their case or trial.
When will a defendant be “held without bail?”
In capital cases, the court can order that a defendant be “Held Without Bail.” Capital cases are those cases where the defendant is facing life imprisonment. The crimes in Rhode Island that are classified as “capital cases” include murder, 1st-degree sexual assault, 1st-degree child molestation, 1st-degree arson, burglary, 1st-degree robbery, kidnapping and certain drug offenses.
We Can Help You
Don’t wait until the last minute to secure an experienced criminal defense attorney. Get started on the right path for your future by contacting a skilled Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer to help secure your release from jail at the beginning of your case.