In the U.S., criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In many cases, a sexual assault attorney in Denver, CO, can argue in favor of the defendant’s release from jail on bail. There are a number of factors that the judge will consider when deciding to set bail in sexual assault cases. If you’re confused about the process of being released on bail, your sex crime lawyer can clarify it for you.
Type of Criminal Charge
Sexual assault may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony. Defendants charged with felony offenses will be required to pay higher bail amounts than those charged with misdemeanor sexual assault. Sometimes, a criminal offense may originally be classified as a felony, but later downgraded to a misdemeanor. In this situation, the judge still sets bail as though it were a felony offense.
Nature of the Case
The bail hearing is not a trial, but the judge will still consider the basic facts of the case when determining the amount of bail for a sexual assault charge. If the circumstances are thought to be particularly egregious, then the judge might not set bail at all. The Colorado criminal code recommends a no-bond hold for certain types of sexual assault, including alleged sexual assault on a child. To issue a no-bond hold; however, there must be significant and compelling evidence against the defendant.
History of the Defendant
The judge can consider other factors when setting bail for a sexual assault charge, such as the history of the defendant. The judge may consider whether the defendant has previously been charged and convicted of criminal offenses. If the defendant has previously skipped court appearances while out on bail, then the bail amount is likely to be high or bail might be denied altogether.
Ties to the Community
A defendant’s ties to his or her community are important because they speak to the likelihood that the defendant may try to flee justice. The judge may set a lower bail amount for defendants who are gainfully employed in the community, have relatives in the area, or own property in the area.