Bail in Pennsylvania is meant to ensure that the Defendant appears in Court at all future proceedings. There are a few different types of bail that may be imposed – based upon the rules of criminal procedure. Some require that the Defendant post money to be released pending trial and others do not. Nonetheless, it is important to have a criminal defense by your side when arguing bail in order to ensure that the Commonwealth is not asking for bail solely as a means to ensure that the defendant remains incarcerated until trial. Ever-so-often, there is a fine line between ensuring appearance and punishment before a verdict. Having an attorney who understands the principles and purpose behind bail and who is able to effectively argue for just and proper bail on your behalf may be the difference between remaining incarcerated pending trial and not.
The types of bail, as according to Pennsylvania law are as follows:
- Release On Recognizance (ROR): Release conditioned only upon the defendant’s written agreement to appear when required. No money need be posted.
- Release on Nonmonetary Conditions: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s agreement to comply with any nonmonetary conditions, which the bail authority determines are reasonably necessary to ensure the defendant’s appearance and compliance with the conditions of the bail bond. No money need be posted.
- Release on Unsecured Bail Bond: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s written agreement to be liable for a fixed sum of money if he or she fails to appear as required or fails to comply with the conditions of the bail bond. No money need be posted – BUT if the defendant failed to appear or otherwise violates bail, he/she will be liable for the amount of money bail was set at.
- Release on Nominal Bail: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s depositing a nominal amount of cash which the bail authority determines is sufficient security for the defendant’s release, such as $1.00.
- Release on a Monetary Condition: Release conditioned upon the defendant’s compliance with a monetary condition imposed. The amount of the monetary condition shall not be greater than is necessary to reasonably ensure the defendant’s appearance and compliance with the conditions of the bail bond. (If bail is set at 1,000 dollars the entire amount must be posted before the defendant may be release on bail).
There are numerous times during the criminal process when bail may be address by the Court. Therefore, it is crucial to have an understanding of the types of bail, the requirements of each and to have a criminal defense attorney who can help argue to ensure a reasonable bail is imposed under the circumstances.
The above listed information does not include the entire crimes code, annotations, amendments or any recent changes that may be relevant. The information provided is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended solely for informational purposes.
Michael D. DiCindio, Esq. is a West Chester criminal defense lawyer who represents individuals accused of crimes throughout all of Chester County, including West Chester, Phoenixville, Malvern, Coatesville, Paoli, Downingtown, Tredyffrin, West Goshen, Honey Brook, Oxford, Devon, Pottstown, Chesterbrook, Parkesburg, Kennett Square, and Avondale